Tonawanda News

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April 17, 2013

Veteran GOP lawmaker to retire

Tonawanda News — LOCKPORT — Peter Smolinski, a longtime Republican Niagara County legislator from North Tonawanda, announced Tuesday night he will not seek a seventh term in office.

Smolinski handed out a two-page letter to reporters after a Niagara County Legislature meeting announcing his decision.

A 12-year veteran of the legislative body, Smolinski said lawmakers "worked diligently to reduce the size of county government, trim the county tax rate and consistently deliver county services in the most efficient and effective manner possible."

Smolinski spent 35 years as an assistant fire chief in North Tonawanda prior to his retirement.

The Republican thanked county workers — with whom the Republican-controlled majority has had a stormy relationship at various points in his tenure — for their "cooperation and collaboration."

"They have been a pleasure to work with and I greatly appreciate the work they do each and every day for the people of Niagara County," he said.

Among his accomplishments, Smolinski cited spearheading the transfer of an unused county fire training facility located on Tonawanda Island to the City of North Tonawanda, procuring funding for a county dive team and upgrading the sheriff's department's communications equipment.

Smolinski said he plans to spend more time with his wife, Jan, their children and grandchildren.

He said he also plans to take a "long overdue vacation."

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