Don't fret about suburban sprawl. It's Democratic sprawl that threatens Amherst, according to town supervisor candidate William L. Kindel.
"If Amherst goes Democratic, your choice will be limited to which brand of Democrats you favor," Kindel says. "Do you want to be a Masiello Democrat or a Pitts Democrat?"
Kindel's opposition to regional government has become the centerpiece of his campaign against incumbent Town Supervisor Susan J. Grelick.
Kindel, a Town Board member, is a Republican. Ms. Grelick is a Democrat.
Kindel said victories by Ms. Grelick and Democrats running for the Town Board on Nov. 4 would break Amherst "as a last line of defense" against Democrats looking to expand their influence beyond Buffalo.
Buffalo's Democratic leaders, such as Mayor Masiello and Common Council President James W. Pitts, would have an easier time grabbing sales tax revenues and other resources from Amherst to spend elsewhere, Kindel predicted.
Masiello has promoted regional government, telling suburban government and business leaders they can benefit by halting suburban sprawl and working together with the city.
"I'm totally opposed to regionalism," Kindel said. "Without Republicans in Amherst, there would be nobody to stand up to Democrats in Erie County trying to take over."
Ms. Grelick said she questions whether regionalization would work in all areas. But she agreed the idea of communities sharing costs could work in some areas, such as purchasing and vehicle maintenance.
"There are ways for us to work together in making the region a better place to live," she said. "I don't think that anybody would be willing to lose control of their future."
"No public official in Amherst would be willing to do that in return for no benefits," she added.
Ms. Grelick said questions about sharing costs and making decisions must be addressed. Kindel's comments about Amherst turning Democratic surprised her, she said. Republicans control the Town Board 4-3.
"First of all, there are more Democrats in Erie County than Republicans," she said. "But Republicans in Amherst far outnumber Democrats. Everybody knows Amherst is a Republican town. I don't know where he's coming from."
Enrolled Republicans outnumber Democrats 30,455 to 25,751 in the town. Nearly 12,800 voters don't belong to any party.