Tonawanda News — “Phase 1 has a been a total success,” Rizzo said, also challenging Kelly to find any flooding issues near the 15 houses making up the neighborhood near the Town of Wheatfield border. “There’s no longer water up to their steps.”
Kelly added that he felt the city should not be paying $3,000 to the concert promoter who held three concerts at the park, noting that he attended three concerts held at Gratwick this summer.
Rizzo felt the greater issue was drawing more individuals from surrounding areas to the city, with the concerts benefitting businesses in the surrounding areas.
Kelly said he would like to fund ways to further youth activities in the city.
Donna Braun, a Republican more than two years into her first term on the North Tonawanda Board of Education, and Lisa Spencer, a Democrat who lost a 2012 bid for the school board and is involved with volunteer initiatives, locked horns over financial considerations for the city police department but mostly agreed on issues related to the resuscitation of Oliver Street.
Spencer said she sees the key to a turnaround along the thoroughfare would begin “once it’s cleaned up,” and would look to cut expenses in other areas of the city in order to raise money for more members of the police department, even looking at the possibility of a tax increase as a last resort.
“Public safety is major part of my platform,” she said. “I don’t think we have a choice when it comes to the safety of our citizens and to the safety of our children.”
Braun said she too has heard complaints of rising crime in the Second Ward, particularly in areas close to the police station. But, she said, she would instead focus on blight related to absentee landlords and community involvement.