Tonawanda News — In the waning weeks on the campaign trail North Tonawanda Democrats laid out their party’s platform Thursday as they seek to reverse a city dominated by Republican governance for years.
Standing on the steps of City Hall and led by city attorney candidate Joshua Dubs, the coalition said if elected it would use a $3 million city surplus to lower taxes, and water and sewage rates, end what they termed “goverment secrecy,” and bolster the city’s police force.
Dubs, who is vying against incumbent Shawn Nickerson, said short councils meetings, decisions made “in back-room caucus deals” and the “slow completion of projects” were chief among his concerns.
“We seek to bring transparency back to our city government,” he said. “(It) has been operating too much like Albany lately.”
Jan Zehr, who is attempting to unseat Mayor Rob Ortt, said she would use the city’s savings to lower tax and utility bills and push to return the mayor’s post to a part-time position.
“Let’s put some of those savings to use,” she said.
Darlene Bolsover, a registered Independent running against Third Ward Alderman Eric Zadzilka, who defeated her on her own party line in the primaries, said her focus would be on repairing the city’s infrastructure.
And Beverly Loxterman, who is challenging Bob Clark for an at-large slot on the council, said she would move to add police officers to the city’s force and attempt to bring fire and police dispatchers back to within city borders, a reference to the merging of both entities with the county.
The platform, largely made up of attacks on the Republican establishment, was criticized by North Tonawanda Republican Committee Chairman Bill Paton, who lodged his own verbal counter-punch, stating that Democrats have brought little to the political table in recent years.