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Caruana already looking ahead

Still waiting Wednesday for official word that he's the next supervisor of the Town of Tonawanda, Anthony F. Caruana was considering his transition into office and issues facing the downsized Town Board.

He said he'd like to meet with outgoing Supervisor Ronald H. Moline. And with the Town Board to talk about committee assignments, which likely face consolidation because the board will have two fewer members when he takes office.

Wednesday afternoon, the tallies from the remaining 25 election districts were posted. Though they represented more than a quarter of the town's 87 districts, their numbers didn't change the outcome.

According to those results, 63 percent of the vote went to Caruana, who was the Democratic Party candidate, and 37 percent to Republican Robert L. Newman. The numbers were 13,110 to 7,693.

Caruana, who maintains a "blank" listing under party affiliation in voter registration records, said he was grateful that Democrats sought him out to run. He also said he was thankful for the support from the Independence, Conservative and Working Families parties.

The political novice reflected on his victory, sounding pleasantly surprised as he described his campaign experiences.

"I felt a good connection with the people in the town and got very positive comments," Caruana said.

Before entering the political arena, Caruana had spent more than 30 years as an English teacher in the Depew School District. He also is a retired brigadier general in the Army Reserve.

Once he takes office, Caruana said infrastructure problems, and safety and security are issues that need immediate attention from lawmakers.

"I have lived in the town 52 years," Caruana said, recalling that when his family moved in from Buffalo, there were dirt roads and sewer lines were being installed.

"Many of them are very old. The overflows can't hold as much as they did before," he said. "I think that's a priority."

Updating the infrastructure will be expensive, Caruana said, and he intends to seek state and federal help to pay for it.

Caruana's election takes Democratic Party representation on the Town Board from majority to monopoly. It was only a few years ago that the board was entirely Republican.

"There's no such thing as a solid Republican area in this town anymore," said Cal Champlin, the outgoing town clerk, who organized elections.


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