City of Tonawanda Democrats wrested control of the Common Council from Republicans in an election in which incumbents were re-elected and an overhaul of the city charter was overwhelmingly approved.
With all ballots tallied, Mayor Alice Allen Roth, a Democrat, received 3,590 votes to 1,549 for Republican challenger Dorothy Watson. Council President Carleton R. Zeisz defeated Republican challenger Thomas J. Christy, 3,423 to 1,524.
Elected in the 1st Ward were Lynette L. Ryan, the Democratic incumbent, and Kevin Hardwick, a Republican and political scientist at Canisius College, receiving 770 and 850 votes, respectively, and beating out Martha A. Olka, a Democrat, who received 738 votes, and Cheryl S. Oliver, R, C, with 564. A recount is expected.
Incumbent Ronald J. Pilozzi, a Republican, with 964 votes, and newcomer James Kossow, a Democrat, with 903 votes, were elected in the 2nd Ward. Trailing were Jeffrey D. Brzyski, a Democrat, with 500 votes and Republican Richard J. Roche with 466. In the 3rd Ward, the winners were incumbent Kenneth Horn, a Democrat, and Gail Syposs, the city's Democratic Party chairwoman, receiving 1,148 votes and 1,042 votes, respectively. Trailing were Republicans Susan L. Gregg with 729 and her husband, Robert H. Gregg, with 493.
"This gives us a 5-2 margin," said Ms. Syposs. The Democrats lost the majority on the Council to the GOP two years ago.
In the city attorney's race, Ronald C. Trabucco, a Democrat, defeated Mark E. Saltarelli, a Republican, 2,745 votes to 2,200 votes.
A ballot measure calling for a new charter passed handily, with 2,155 "yes" votes to 1,326 "no" votes. The measure provides for a strong mayor form of government.