Eight Democrats, some seasoned veterans and others newcomers offering fresh views, are vying for the party's nomination for three City Council seats in Tuesday's Primary Election.
The winners will face two endorsed Republicans, Joseph R. D'Angelo and Roger Spurback in November's general election.
The City Democratic Committee in May endorsed the two incumbents, Vince V. Anello and Guy T. Sottile, who are seeking re-election. The committee made no endorsement for the seat being vacated by Councilwoman Connie M. Lozinsky, who decided not to run for a second term.
The other candidates are Lora A. Allen, Matthew A. Davis II, Paul A. Dyster, Frances M. Iusi, Frank V. Roma and John D. Virtuoso.
Anello, who is completing his first term, says he is a determined, committed, hard worker for the people. He served for two years as Council chairman, a position selected by vote of the Council. He has led efforts for City Charter enforcement and reform, enforcement of city contracts with developers, and budget accountability by the city administration. In addition to the Democrats, he is endorsed by the Independence, Liberal and Right to Life parties. Anello is a union electrician and lives on Independence Avenue.
Mrs. Allen of Calumet Avenue is a member of the Council's Charter Review Commission appointed last year. She is an instructional associate for the Orleans-Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services at the Niagara Falls Alternative School, a former president of Local 4625, Association for Retarded Citizens Employees Union, and former operator of Allen's Christian Bookstore on Main Street. She said she is running because she sees "a real need, a real necessity for someone to take leadership without any hidden agenda." She is married to the Rev. Raymond Allen, and they have four children.
Davis of Ashland Avenue is a security guard at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and has his own consulting firm, QRT Consultants, which has offered free-lance paralegal services and advocated civil and legal rights for 10 years. Davis says he has the vision, creativity and ability to work as part of a team to help repair "years of neglect." He is married to the former Yvonne L. Martin, and they have four children.
Dyster is a former arms-control negotiator and college professor. He says his top two priorities are setting the city on a path toward balanced, sustainable, environmentally friendly development and persuading an "economically and socially significant percentage of our brightest and most ambitious young people to stay here to work and raise their families." Dyster calls himself a "reform Democrat." A Maple Avenue resident, Dyster and his wife, Becky, own Niagara Tradition, a company that sells home-brewing and wine-making supplies.
Ms. Iusi of 66th Street is cash manager for Tops Markets Inc., a position she has held for the past eight years. She was a vice president of the former Niagara County Savings Bank. She is a member of the city Zoning Board of Appeals, president of the Niagara Falls Business and Professional Women's Club and a member of the City Democratic Committee. She ran on the Conservative and Independence lines and came in seventh in an eight-way race for Council in 1997.
Roma, chairman of the Niagara Falls Coalition for Casino Gaming who has held appointed positions on the Niagara County Tourism Advisory Board, is making his first run for elected office. A lifelong resident, Roma emphasizes the need for all elements in the city to work together to bring the city back "to the level of respect it deserves." Regarding his efforts to bring casino gambling here, Roma said it isn't the one-shot answer to all of the city's problems, but it could help spur economic development. He retired as a senior community relations representative from the New York Power Authority, where he worked for 33 years. He and his wife, Dolores, have two children.
Sottile is seeking his fourth consecutive term on the Council. He says no further cuts in police and fire services are practical and says greater efficiency can be achieved with existing manpower by working with the unions. He said city government must create an environment that encourages business development, and he will make the development of the former Century Club property on the Niagara River a top priority. He said preserving the public's access to the waterfront must not be compromised. Sottile is a retired teacher.
Virtuoso is a resident of Rivershore Drive and a retired vice president from Fleet Bank. He works in pupil services administration with the Niagara Falls Board of Education. He said he is running because "the city needs a change. We have to look at creating a new future for Niagara Falls and we can only do that by electing people with new ideas." He is married to the former Catherine Wroblewski. They have three children.