Tonawanda News

Local News

November 6, 2013

Four fresh faces on city's council|


Tonawanda News — Both candidates said they are optimistic that the absentee ballots will carry them through. 

“We’re just crossing our fingers and hoping it goes our way,” Smilinich said. 

In the Third Ward, two-term Councilman Slisz defended his seat against Hall, a former Department of Public Works employee and youth athletics coach. In addition to the housing development, the two argued over the plans for Central School, another vacant district building.

Although the school’s sale is up for a referendum at the end of the month, some residents argued that the building should be turned over to the city and transformed into a community center. Slisz supported that project, but Hall said the building was in need of too many repairs and renovations for the proposal to make financial sense. 

Hall said Tuesday that he plans to use his connections for a number of initiatives, including a potential sporting facility at the Spaulding Fiber site. 

“We need to start working closer with schools to better them and attract people here,” he said Tuesday.

Slisz said he was not disappointed by the results.

“As my wife said, now we can be normal again, and I can start to enjoy myself,” he said. “This loss is not a loss to me. It’s saying, ‘hey, you’re getting old.’”

In the Fourth Ward, two newcomers, Koch and Jopp, also disagreed over the city’s plans for Little League Drive. Koch, a human resources manager, and Jopp, a president of a local video entertainment company, both called for pressure on Tonawanda Coke. 

Jopp said he wishes Koch the best.

“Jenna is very passionate about this city and I am confident she will be an excellent council member,” he said.

Koch thanked her family and the residents for their support.

“The voters made a pretty astounding decision,” she said. 

Contact reporterJessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.

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