Tonawanda News

Today's Top Stories

July 11, 2012

Niagara GOP's hand steering NT schools?

Tonawanda News — A contentious vote during North Tonawanda’s school board reorganization meeting had at least one member crying foul Tuesday, charging that local Republican political interests were a factor in deciding who should hold the nonpartisan board’s leadership posts.

The North Tonawanda Board of Education retained its president and nominated a new vice president by one-vote margins, indicating a possible rift among its members.

Frank DiBernardo held on for his second year as president in a 4-3 vote against Art Pappas, while Kevin LoCicero, a three-year board member who is entering his second term, was voted vice president after defeating Colleen Osborn by the same count.

The narrow split registered by the seven-member board suggests differences in its ranks. But it also, according to Osborn, signals the politicization of a governing body that normally precludes the influence of Republican and Democratic parties by its very nature.

Osborn said she had the backing of LoCicero after expressing interest in becoming vice president in mid-May.

LoCicero, however, said he recently informed her that he would himself be running for the post after speaking with the former head of the Niagara County Republican Party, Henry Wojtaszek — who advised LoCicero it would be a good political move to have the vice presidency under his belt as he eyes a possible run at the city council in the next few years.

“I had a conversation with Henry about the city council in the future,” said LoCicero, a registered Republican and longtime officer at the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department, soon after Tuesday’s vote. “(Am I) going to run for council in two years? I might, but I might also retire.”

While the agreement does not breach any legal precepts unless political donations are a factor, such blatant politicking on a nonpartisan school board is outside the norm, according to a representative of the New York State School Boards Association.

Text Only
Today's Top Stories
  • SUN LIFE Open gardens 1 072014.jpg Stop and smell the flowers

    More than 90 private gardens throughout Western New York, and a number of public ones, are open to the public for select hours Thursdays and/or Fridays during July as part of the National Garden Festival’s Open Gardens program, now in its fifth year. The program is separate and distinct from local garden walks, and the gardens range from Gasport to Holland. They’re organized into districts of about five to eight gardens each, including Northtowns West (which includes gardens in Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda) and Niagara Trail (which includes gardens in Lockport, Gasport and Lewiston).

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • TON eson mug.jpg UPDATE: Elderly town woman charged with killing husband

    An 83-year-old Town of Tonawanda woman has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly killing her elderly husband, police said Tuesday.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE meals on wheels 1 070614.jpg Volunteers on wheels

    Walking into the North Tonawanda Meals on Wheels offices one recent Friday morning, the air is full of the scent of baking ... fresh banana muffins prepared by kitchen staff, destined to be delivered to those who receive meals through the organization.

    A sign hangs on the wall nearby: “Volunteers do not get paid NOT because they are worthless, BUT because they are priceless.”

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Early voters hit polls

    Before dawn Tuesday morning at North Tonawanda City Hall, things were already bustling.

    November 6, 2012

  • 121015 LUMBERJACKS4 Love at first sight

    Carol Tallichet, is in the process of renovating the former Niagara River Yacht Club, which she is leasing from the city and plans to open by Memorial Day.

    October 18, 2012 3 Photos

  • LCDC head named

    August 7, 2012

  • 120806 MAIN1 Downtown facade improvements complete

    August 7, 2012 3 Photos

  • 120806 RENTACENTER1 Suspect flees botched robbery

    A man remains at large after attempting to rob a Rent-A-Center employee and stealing a car in the City of Tonawanda Monday morning, according to police.

    August 7, 2012 1 Photo

  • Producer to begin filming at Kronies

    August 4, 2012

  • 080412 economy2.jpg Glass half full?

    August 4, 2012 2 Photos