The biggest name on Election Day in West Seneca does not appear on the ballot but still looms large: outgoing Supervisor Paul T. Clark.
Two of the three candidates who are vying for the supervisor's position have distanced themselves from Clark, who gave up the town's top spot to wage an unsuccessful campaign for Erie County executive.
Wallace C. Piotrowski, 46, is running on the Democratic, Republican and Conservative parties' lines; Christina Wleklinski Bove, 59, on the Working Families Party's line; and Jack B. Daley, on the Independence Party's line.
"It has been said that West Seneca has a no-party system, just a political club," Bove said in an interview with The Buffalo News. "Mr. Piotrowski was given the Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Independence endorsements by Clark and company."
But Piotrowski, who lost the Independence line to Daley in the September primary, denies that claim and several others made by Bove. A longtime town justice who defeated Bove in the Democratic primary, Piotrowski said that, until he entered the race, voters had no real choice, with Clark and local Democrats favoring Bove.
They seem to agree on major issues facing the town: cutting spending, reducing taxes and keeping business and young people in the community.
Piotrowski said he would require competitive bidding on all services and materials used by the town and would enforce the town's codes to force property owners to clean up eyesores.
He also called for doing "simple things" such as putting the town budget on line and stressed that he will be a full-time supervisor and accessible to his constituents.
Bove, 59, cites a number of accomplishments since her election to the Town Board in 2004. They include coordinating operations at the senior citizens fitness center, which she said saved taxpayers $100,000 a year; fighting a proposed Wal-Mart; initiating a residency restriction law to protect children from sex offenders; and building a sledding hill.
Daley did not return phone calls seeking comment on his campaign.
Also on the ballot are seven candidates seeking two Town Board seats. They include incumbents Christopher F. Osmanski, on the Republican and Conservative lines, and Craig J. Hicks, on the Conservative line. Hicks is not actively campaigning.
Brian D. Wirth is running on the Republican line, while Dale F. Clark and Sheila M. Meegan are running on the Democrat and Working Families lines. Frank W. Russo and Michael R. Zimpfer are running on the Independence line.
Osmanski, 42, is running for his fifth term on the board. He works for National Fuel in construction management.
He said the biggest issues facing the town are quality of life, taxes and trying to keep the town's young people from leaving the area.
Wirth, 29, is following in the legacy of his late grandmother, Sandra Lee Wirth, in his bid for a board seat. He said he would make a point of listening to his constituents, fight to lower taxes, promote good government and clean up West Seneca.
Zimpfer, 62, a retired teacher, said time had come for a change. He said West Seneca needs more economic development and lower taxes.
Clarke, Meegan and Russo, were not available to be interviewed for this story.
Also on the ballot are Patricia C. DePasquale, who is unopposed in her bid for another term as town clerk; Richard B. Scott and Dale J. McCabe, who are running for two town justice positions; and Patrick Finnegan, who is unopposed in his bid for re-election as highway superintendent.