Tonawanda News

Opinion

November 1, 2013

OUR VIEW: City of Tonawanda candidate endorsements

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — For the Third Ward

Here we have another first-time candidate, Republican John “Jay” Hall, a longtime city employee and youth baseball coach going up against two-term incumbent Richard Slisz.

Slisz has found himself in the middle of the fray on the Little League Drive debate from the beginning. He led the effort to scuttle an original deal and the resulting one was better. For this he deserves credit.

But we have our reservations. Slisz ran four years ago in opposition to increased assessments in the River View neighborhood where he lives. Four years later he stands in opposition to a development that will only pay 65 percent of real property value because he thinks its a bad deal for taxpayers. Which is it, councilman?

And on the issue of the Niawanda Park pavilion, again Slisz was opposed despite a majority of the money coming from outside grants. He says it’s costing city taxpayers money but the pavilion has proven a popular community resource. Even if it does cost the city some cash, efficiency isn’t the only mark of good government if residents are happy to pay for the service.

By contrast, Hall is a known and well-liked member of the community. He showed some vision for a sports complex in the city that could build on the existing services for young people here and that’s a big plus. More than any Republican running, he seemed to express some reservations about Little League Drive, though on balance he said he would support it.

It’s close but we endorse Jay Hall in the Third Ward.

For the Fourth Ward

It’s difficult to recall a time when one candidate’s letter to the editor did more damage to his campaign than the one written by Fourth Ward Republican candidate Brian Jopp. He wrote us proclaiming he had no intention of walking the streets in his neighborhood to “insincerely ask you what I can do for you.”

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