Tonawanda News — KENMORE — Candidates hoping to represent residents in the village of Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda presented their platforms Tuesday night to dozens of locals, business owners and supporters.
The contenders for the positions of town board, highway superintendent, Erie County legislature and village board each spoke for five minutes on their accomplishments and vision for their respective districts.
Three spots are up for grabs on the town board. Democratic incumbents Joseph Emminger, Lisa Chimera and John Bargnesi are running on their eight years of experience and lowering of taxes.
“We reduced the town board from seven members to five,” Lisa Chimera, a teacher in the Ken-Ton district, said during the meet the candidates night, which was held at the Village Square on Delaware Avenue. “We instituted term limits, a budget plan and keeping taxes low has been our priority.”
Like Chimera, Emminger, a partner in a local appraisal company, spoke to his record over the past eight years.
“I’m running on the fiscal responsibility, low taxes and public safety,” he said, noting how officers handled the recent incident at the late Joseph Hollywood’s home.
Their Republican challengers have called for a change in town leadership and pointed out a number of issues, including public safety. Candidate Ann Morelli, an accountant and former Parent Teacher Association president, said she opposes the reduction of four police officer positions over the past eight years.
“Residents have asked me not to cut services,” she said. “Patrols were not reduced not once, but twice.”
In response, Democrats have argued that crime levels have been reduced, according to a recent report from the police chief, and have argued that they, too, will work to promote public safety.
But challenger Michael Vishion, who is the president of a local consulting company, called the current Democratic leadership a “monopoly.”