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Aurora residents to pick new supervisor Consolidation, growth key issues

Aurora Town Hall will have a new man at the helm next year, but the bigger issue is how Tuesday's election will affect the town's growth and divisive consolidation issues between the town and village.

With Supervisor Terence Yarnall not seeking re-election, the race is between Republican Deputy Supervisor Dwight Krieger, 65, and Democratic challenger Allan Kasprzak, 52, a 25-year Buffalo police officer.

"I've been part of the past and want to be part of the future," said Krieger, aligned with Yarnall's administration and serving in his sixth year in the middle of his second Town Board term. Krieger, also running on the Conservative line, has been adamant about the town taking control of the village-run East Aurora police force, instead of just contracting for coverage.

A three-way race for two board seats pits two Republicans -- incumbent Jeffrey T. Harris and Kelly A. Wahl, Yarnall's former assistant and previous town budget officer -- against Democrat Gregory Szematowicz.

Kasprzak says the police issue -- and the larger issue of infighting between village and town officials -- are what motivated him to run for supervisor.

Krieger, who with his wife co-owns the Aurora Liquor store, is a lifelong town resident and is well entrenched on the Town Board in a heavily Republican town.

Kasprzak admits "the numbers are against me" but also points to his Independence Party backing on a write-in line in September's primary.

Krieger, whose son and son-in-law work for the police force, wants the town to take over police operations from the village within the next couple of years.

"It only makes sense because that's where your growth is and your assessed valuation [in the town]," he said.

However, Kasprzak doesn't think it makes sense for the town to run the police force.

"I don't have a problem with the village running the police," he said. "The village handles all the negotiations. Is this the town's idea of taking away all services and pushing the village into non-existence?"

Krieger is cautious about the joint municipal facility proposal, saying it's important to know what size village government will be in a few years.

If elected, Kasprzak pledges a government more open to constituents' concerns and with stronger leadership, while also implementing safeguards for development.

"You can't have developers come in with their palms open and say, 'What are you going to do for me?' " he said. "I'm tired of developers expecting us to throw money their way."

In the Town Board race, Harris, 50, who owns a tool distribution company, is seeking a third term and is viewed by many as board's maverick.

"I look for what's right, whether it's popular or not," he said.

Wahl, 30, who now works as a chief data tax clerk for the county Office of Real Property Services, thinks she would bring a fresh voice to the Town Board.

"I feel that I bring something different to the table, being a woman, younger and having government experience," she said. "I'm not afraid to challenge the status quo. We have a lot of work to do to keep taxes down and make it more affordable to live in Aurora."

Democratic candidate Szematowicz, 53, is a senior model maker for Fisher-Price's design shop and served on the School Board. He said it's important for the town and village to decide what the community's needs are before determining the future of a shared building.

"Putting both governments in one building is a good idea if it's cost-effective," he said.

Councilman William Reuter is not seeking re-election. The supervisor post carries a two-year term, while Town Board seats each carry four-year terms. Town Justice Douglas W. Marky is unopposed for re-election.


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