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Council chairman is among 4 competing for 2 seats

Voters will choose Tuesday from among two endorsed Democrats, a Republican and a candidate on a minor-party line for two seats on the City Council.

Robert Anderson Jr., the current Council chairman, is running for his second term, while small-business owners Steven D. Fournier and Nicholas Ligammari Jr. and retired marketing consultant Cristina Ventry are all running for the Council for the first time.

The top two vote-getters will serve four-year terms on the five-member Council.

Anderson, 65, of 73rd Street, is an Air Force veteran and a former Niagara Falls Board of Education employee and union leader.

Anderson, a Democrat, said he has been responsive to residents as a councilman.

"Sometimes, I get more telephone calls than the vice president of the United States," Anderson said during a debate Tuesday night. "I answer them all."

Anderson plans to focus on addressing streets, sidewalks and public safety, and reducing the city's budget.

"We need a team to find out how to reduce the taxes in this city," Anderson said.

Fournier, 35, of Champlain Avenue, also wants to focus on decreasing property taxes. He said he wants to bring "common sense" to city government and work on economic-development initiatives.

Fournier, a Democrat, owns and operates Cafe Etc. on Third Street. He said his two young children convinced him to run to improve the city's future.

"My main goal is to make this the place it once was," Fournier said.

Ligammari, 64, of Cleveland Avenue, has operated Nick's TV in Lewiston since 1978.

He is a registered Democrat and is running on the Working Families ballot line after losing a three-way Democratic primary to Anderson and Fournier.

Ligammari said his goal as a Council member would be to "improve and maintain quality of life in the city." He also wants to improve cooperation between city leaders.

"I think it's a great place to live and to raise a family," Ligammari said. "Let's keep it that way."

Cristina Ventry, 67, of Lewiston Road, is a former actress and marketing consultant who returned to Niagara Falls to care for her mother after living for years in New York City.

Ventry is the only Republican in the race. She said she wants to boost the city's international marketing efforts and bring excitement back to the Falls.

"The City of Niagara Falls is simply a business," Ventry said. "So the end result is you run it like a business, and that's what I hope to do."
SATURDAY: Candidates for Niagara Falls city judge.


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