Tonawanda News — “Every city in the country has crime rates,” she said. “I don’t know for a fact that we do need more police officers.”
Spencer said the city’s housing stock in the Second Ward was integrally linked to its crime and blight.
“We need to find a way to bring more business into North Tonawanda,” she said. “We need to build up our tax base some more.”
Republican Eric Zadzilka, vying for his third term on the council, focused on the introduction of Walmart in his ward, while Darlene Bolsover, an Independent endorsed by the Democrats who lost a 2012 bid for the school board, said the mega store’s introduction into the city has also had consequences related to increased crime.
The two sparred over flooding issues in the area and infrastructure, though Zadzilka said the issues were largely related to “a 150-year storm” that inundated the city in July and that the council has formed a plan that would alleviate many of the issues.
Bolsover said she’s seen issues arise in the Wurlitzer Park neighborhood, an area she said is slipping from its glory days as a new neighborhood, saying that the issues may be linked to the nearby addition of Walmart.
“I think that had an impact on Wurlitzer Park,” she said.
Zadzilka said during his term, the council has moved forward the Meadow Drive extension that will bolster business by connecting the city’s central business corridor to the area and that the crime is part and parcel with bigger stores, citing similar issues at Budwey’s Market. He also said that his ability to work with fellow council members helped to move the city forward with projects outside of his ward.
“The opposition would have you believe that there’s a lack of progress in North Tonawanda,” he said.