Every Sunday, we'll publish a quick Q&A with someone from the local political world. Instead of touching on the latest in policy issues and proposed legislation, the intent is to catch a glimpse of the person behind the title. The interviews are done via email.
Age: 49 currently... 50 on August 4th!
Job Title: Erie County Legislator, 3rd district (North Buffalo, Parkside, Black Rock-Riverside, Kenmore and the southeast corner of Town of Tonawanda).
Family: Madden's on my dad's side; Golonka's on my mother's. Blessed with a daughter, Jessica, 29, and a stepdaughter, Bridget, 16, along with 3 cats!
Education: Mount St. Mary Academy; bachelor of arts in English from Daemen College
What's one thing people don't know about you?
My parents took me to see The Who perform Tommy at Kleinhans Music Hall in November 1969. I was seven (2nd grade) and knew all the words! (I still remember Roger Daltry's curly long hair and fringe jacket.) My parents took my brother Bob and me to the Allentown Art Festival in June 1970, where we got tear gassed in the crowd. A decade and many concerts and events later, my college paper was on "Counterculture Politics Influenced the Music of Its Time." It was presented in class with a soundtrack.
What music have you been listening to lately?
My iTunes library is up to 6,183 songs by 757 artists. Very eclectic. I just downloaded '"Queen of the Press Club" by The Soft White Sixties, who I'm told by my brother, rocked it at Austin's SXSW.
My mom was once co-owner of New World Record, and my grandfather played in a polka band that performed at Buffalo's neighborhood bars. My grandmother was a beautiful pianist. Both my daughters can sing. I can only read music and appreciate it! Specifically, I've been listening to Alicia Keys at home and Black Eyed Peas at the gym... or some great rock 'n roll in Tom's BAC spin class!
What's your favorite restaurant?
Kosta's on Hertel is my second office! Chris' Sandwich Co., La Dolce Vita, Vino's, Curry's and the Buffalo Tap Room are frequent favorites!
Who is your political hero?
My former boss, the late Assemblyman Bill Hoyt, Tip O'Neill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the women who "raised me" through the local Democratic Party: Penny Dakin, Louise Shanberg, Carmella Thomas, Regina Purvis, Mary Oshirak -- all of whom have passed on -- and Carmella Trippi, who will be 103 this year!
What's the worst part of your job?
Fundraising. On average it has cost $25,000 to run for a county legislative seat, twice that in the years I've had a primary and general election. With the downsized legislature, we 11 members now represent more people, on average 83,000. Add the increase in postage, and the expenses to run for local office are daunting. Proudly, so far, I have never been in campaign debt and have never attacked an opponent. It's a true privilege to serve. Fundraising is necessary to wage an effective campaign.