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DEMOCRATIC LEADER SYPOSS IN MAYOR'S RACE

Gayle L. Syposs, chairman of the City of Tonawanda Democratic Committee, is running for mayor.

Syposs, 61, who has been endorsed by the committee, served on the Common Council for 12 years.

She is a network coordinator at the Erie County Board of Elections, a position she plans to retire from later this year.

Mayor Jack Gallagher announced in March he is not seeking a second two-year term.

Syposs said Friday that if she wins in November she plans to serve only one four-year term as mayor.

"I'm almost to the point that where, with everything that goes on, maybe there should be term limits (for mayor). I think four years is enough. I've seen what it's done to Jack, and it's a demanding position. You're not financially in a position to have large staffs," she said.

Syposs was elected as the Third Ward representative to the Common Council in 1975. She served off and on the Council for a number of years until stepping aside in 1997. This will not be Syposs' first bid for mayor -- she lost an election to G. Delwin Hervey in 1979 by 300 votes.

An employee at the Board of Elections since 1989, Syposs was promoted to assistant deputy commissioner in 1996. Her job was reassigned this year after the Erie County budget crisis forced that position to be eliminated.

Syposs said the experience of dealing with Erie County's current fiscal problems is likely to carry over into the City of Tonawanda if she is successful in her bid for mayor.

"I've seen the worst way to do business," Syposs said. "This crisis didn't happen overnight. We have to be aware that we have to look for different ways to solve problems. You don't wait until you have a disaster at your doorstep."

Syposs was a member of the city charter revision committee in 1996, which centralized administrative power into the mayor's office.

If elected, Syposs said she wants to consult more closely with departments and employees on ways to save money. She also wants to help people with housing issues and be more proactive to keep properties up to code.

The Tonawanda Republican Committee is expected to announce its endorsement soon.

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