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NEW BOARD KEEPS OPTIONS OPEN ON FILLING TOWN POSITIONS

Several positions in the town could be open for grabs once the new Democratic majority takes over Town Hall on Jan. 1. However, the supervisor-elect and the two sitting councilmen said they did not want to make any hasty decisions on filling vacancies.

Supervisor-elect Richard F. Demus, who ran on the Democratic ticket, declined to comment before the reorganizational meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 8. The meeting will take place in the Town Hall, 1375 Ridge Road.

He added, "Let's just say things are the same until they come out on Jan. 8. . . . We don't want to get people upset. We don't want to stir the pot or anything. We don't want no rumors."

Demus and the other two new board members, Republican Darwin J. Langlois and Democrat George E. Briggs, will be sworn into office at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Lewiston Senior Services Center, 4361 Lower River Road. In addition, Joan B. Stephens, receiver of taxes, will also take her oath of office at that time.

Demus received 2,192 votes on Election Day. He defeated Councilman Harrison L. Coppock, who ran on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Liberal lines, by 127 votes, and also defeated Charles J. Stojak, who ran on the Freedom line, by 2,095 votes.

Langlois, who ran on the Republican, Conservative and Freedom lines, will join Briggs in office on Thursday. The Town Board, then, will have a four-member Democratic majority, joining John D. Ceretto and Michael A. Johnson.

Johnson said that he was not looking to get rid of anyone such as the town attorney nor the town engineer, but that the new board will be taking applications for the jobs. In addition, they will be accepting applications for different commissions such as zoning and planning.

Ceretto said that he did not think the new Town Board would be making any drastic changes. "In my own mind we want to keep on with what we've been doing." On his own agenda, he said that he would like to have a pedestrian trail along Lower River Road when the state will make improvements to the road.

In addition, he said that he would like to secure some grant money from the state to make a pedestrian trail from the Senior Services Center along Lower River Road to up above the Niagara Escarpment. In addition, Ceretto said he would like to work with Niagara Falls officials to make a trail from Lewiston to Niagara Falls.

He also would like to get some property from the Power Authority in lieu of taxes to establish a light industrial base. Ceretto said he would also like the new Town Board to put the question of whether to build a golf course at Joseph A. Davis State Park up for a vote next year.

Of the new board, "I see it more of a continuation . . . Hopefully, we won't be Democrats, Republicans in a small local town. I hope we will do what is best for the Town of Lewiston."

In addition, Ceretto said that the reorganizational meeting will be more of an "organizational meeting" to just get people ready to begin a new year.

"What I think you'll see is not too much of a change . . . We want to have a continuation of what's been started." Ceretto did say, however, "I hope that the bickering and the fighting will stop . . . I just hope that we do what's best for the whole town in general."

Briggs did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

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