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BOTH SIDES IN EVANS TOWN RACES FOCUS ON KEEPING TAXES LOW

Incumbents and challengers for Evans town offices say the main issue is keeping taxes low.

Voters will choose two councilmen and a supervisor in next Tuesday's election.

Supervisor Robert R. Catalino II said he has worked hard to bring in businesses and improve the town.

"I'm running solely on my performance of the last two years," he said.

The town now has two drug stores and a dog food distribution plant and is undertaking water improvements in North Evans, he said.

Catalino was a teacher in the Catholic Diocese and currently teaches two days a week, but he said he still puts in 45 to 50 hours a week on town business.

His administration also has improved communication with the Lake Shore Central School District, he said.

"Things have gone well for two years," he said.

Catalino, whose name will be on the Democratic, Conservative and Right to Life lines, is running against retired Evans police officer John D. Persinger and Ellen R. Pierino, the endorsed Republican candidate who lost the GOP primary to Persinger. Ms. Pierino is running on the Independence and Freedom party lines.

"I think I'm the more experienced and qualified candidate," Persinger said.

He served on the Evans Town Board from 1988 to 1991, after he retired from the Police Department.

While Catalino is a "fine young man," Persinger said, "I have a lot more experience and a lot more time to do the job."

He said taxes are the main concern of residents, adding that if he has not lowered taxes in two years, he will not run for re-election.

"The only way you should reduce taxes is to reduce the cost of government," Persinger said. "The town has to take a look at what the town can afford to spend."

He said he would look for a retirement incentive program to offer employees as a way to reduce the payroll.

Republican Mark R. Engler is the only incumbent seeking re-election this year in a four-way race for two councilman posts.

"I still think I can make some changes," he said. "I've done what I promised to do; I voted against tax increases and new positions."

Engler, a self-employed carpenter, will appear on the Republican, Independence and Freedom lines.

Republican Thomas Csati, who works for the Erie County Department of Public Works, said he is used to helping people. His name also will be on the Liberal and Freedom lines.

"I know I can get the job done. I deal with the public. I know what they want," he said, adding he will be accessible to the public.

Karen A. Erickson, who with her family owns and operates Connors Hot Dog Stand, said she knows the town and the problems its residents face. "They like to live here, but they don't think they can continue to live here with the high taxes," she said. "I've been there. I've felt the crunch of paying taxes with kids going to school. I'm real approachable."

Ms. Erickson, who has the Democrat, Conservative and Right to Life endorsements, ran unsuccessfully for the County Legislature four years ago.

Joseph F. Govenettio, a supervisor at Dimar Manufacturing, said he has the skills to work well with people.

"I want to be part of the future of the town. I want to see gradual growth without hurting the small people in town," he said.

His name will appear on the Democrat, Conservative, Independence and Right to Life lines.

Ms. Pierino said she attends Town Board meetings and the meetings on the master plan, adding that she has gone over the minutes of the Town Board for the last seven years.

"I've really been not just running for office but preparing for the job," she said.

She said she is concerned with lowering taxes and making government accountable to the people.

"We have a town government that is not concerned with the concerns the people in the town have," she said.

Ms. Pierino, a law librarian for Damon & Morey, said she would open the lines of communication between the town and the people as well as the supervisor's office and department heads.

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