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MAYOR-ELECT NAMES SUCCESSOR AS WARD 3 ALDERMAN

Mayor-elect James P. Griffin has announced his selection for the alderman's post he will vacate when he takes office Jan. 1 and may name members of a new municipal airport advisory board at a Common Council session Tuesday night.

Larry Sorokes, a staff specialist with Cattaraugus-Allegany Board of Cooperative Educational Services, is Griffin's choice to finish the one year remaining in his term as Ward 3 alderman.

As mayor, Griffin must name replacements to any mid-term vacancies that occur on the Council. Sorokes must be confirmed early next month by a majority vote of the Council.

Sorokes is an Olean native and a member of the Republican Party. In his work with BOCES, he coordinates all grant-funded projects. He is also a member of the city's Planning Board and chairman of Griffin's Jamestown Community College Task Force, which is attempting to keep the local campus at its downtown location during a planned expansion of the facility.

Griffin has not indicated whether he also will name several administrative replacements under his authority once he takes office. Those posts are now held by City Clerk David M. John, Deputy City Clerk Mary Ellen Burlingame, City Attorney John M. Hart and Lucinda L. Wilber, executive secretary to Mayor John J. Ash.

But Griffin said members of a new advisory board to recommend economic development initiatives at the city's airport may be named Tuesday.

Some airport activities are covered in contracts with consultant Robert J. Salluzzo of Airport Concepts LLC of Johnstown and Flight Services Group of Stratford, Conn. FSG, the airport's new operator, may make some changes with city approval and must be notified about development proposed by the city.

Under Salluzzo's 1996 "milestone" contract with the city -- which is now concluded -- he could be paid $21,000 for surveying regional services, attracting a scheduled carrier, securing economic development of hangar space and providing the city with introductions to airport business prospects.

"We want to have a group of businessmen who have interest in this, a high-end group of community business leaders and elected officials," Griffin said of the proposed advisory board.

He said development of the facility is not in conflict with any proposal to build a county airport, but it has not received the support it should be getting and the city should find out if air transport out of Olean is viable. New development might justify a new airport, Griffin said.

"But the airport as it ran cannot continue to run that way, and hence we've succeeded in establishing the fixed-base operation and we're hoping other business opportunities can be incubated there," Griffin said.

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