Tonawanda News

November 7, 2007

CITY OF TONAWANDA: Dems sweep in City of Tonawanda

By Dave Hill/hilld@gnnewspaper.com

City of Tonawanda Democrats brought out the brooms in Tuesday night’s election. All five seats up for grabs on the Common Council went to Democrats, with the lone newcomer to the being Gary Waterhouse, who ousted Republican Blake Boyle in the 2nd Ward. As of press time, Waterhouse led Boyle 269-177 votes, with half of the districts reporting, according to the Erie County Board of Elections’ unofficial results.

By far, the most lively Common Council campaign was in the 4th Ward, where things got personal between incumbent Rick Davis and Republican challenger David McCormick in the days before the election. With three-quarters of the districts reporting, Davis maintained a 598-307 advantage.

“The tactics of the (city’s) Republican Committee showed their true colors and the residents of the 4th Ward didn’t appreciate it,” Davis said. “Residents obviously like what I’ve done the last two years.”

Davis couldn’t help but take a shot at McCormick, who criticized residents at a council meeting earlier in the year by saying that they got what they deserved by buying a home near the Town of Tonawanda landfill without knowing that it was contaminated with radioactive waste.

“Tonight Mr. McCormick got exactly what he deserved,” Davis said.

Council President Carleton Zeisz was leading Republican challenger Brian Grassia, 1,430 to 1,136 votes with 68 percent of districts reporting at press deadline.

Tuesday night’s results have yielded an interesting situation in the city. An all-Democratic Common Council leaves Mayor Ron Pilozzi as the lone Republican in City Hall.

Zeisz was elated that voters have given him another chance to lead the council after a spirited race with Grassia. Zeisz has served 16 years, the last 14 as president.

“After giving 16 years of my life to the city, residents reaffirmed that they want me to continue to do the things I have done,” Zeisz said. “Voters are still behind the path the council wants to take. There’s a lot of work to continue and a lot of new things to start.”

Colleen Perkins won a second term as the 1st Ward representative. She beat Republican Jerry Frizzell, 563-400 votes.

“It shows that we are the party of the people,” she said. Perkins thanked Frizzell for running a clean race, and said that her track record in handling residents’ complaints resonated with voters.

“People know the person that I am,” Perkins said.

Waterhouse, the former Tonawanda City School District Board of Education president, defeated incumbent Boyle in the 2nd Ward.

“It’s a little overwhelming, but I’m so excited,” Waterhouse said. “I can’t wait to get started.”

He said his school board background had much to do with 2nd Ward residents electing him to be their representative.

In the city’s 3rd Ward, incumbent Jim Kossow was leading Amy Fleming, 207-139, with 50 percent of districts reporting. He has been the 3rd Ward councilman since 2001.

“I’m real happy residents again gave me their support,” Kossow said, adding that his Republican challenger ran a nice campaign.

City Treasurer Joseph Hogenkamp, City Attorney Ronald Trabucco and City Judge Joseph Cassata all ran unopposed.

Contact reporter David J. Hill at 693-1000, ext. 115.