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ELECTION COULD SHIFT CONTROL ON TOWN BOARD

Two seats on the Lancaster Town Board will attract a lot of attention on election day from Democrats who want to retain their board majority and Republicans who want to gain control of the five-member board.

As Democratic incumbent Mark A. Montour, 43, of Fieldstone Lane, and Republican incumbent Georgette F. Pelletterie, 47, of William Street, will try to hold onto their positions, challengers Ronald D. Ruffino Sr., a Democrat, and Republican Douglas P. Szary will try to take them away.

Republicans, however, are going into the November races with a boost.

In September's primaries, Pelletterie and Szary, 36, of William Street, each captured 29 percent of the Independence Party vote, giving each the Independence line in the upcoming elections.

Pelletterie is a paralegal with the law firm Lipsitz, Green, Fahringer, Roll, Salisbury & Cambria. Elected in January 2000 to fill a Town Board seat for two years, Pelletterie donated her 3 percent pay raise last year to a charity -- $400 to the Southeast Community Center. And so far, she's donated $100 of this year's 3 percent raise to the Lancaster YMCA, she said.

Pelletterie also won a second, three-year term to the School Board in May.

She said she will continue to be dedicated to smart growth by making Lancaster economically strong, preserving green space, and by reducing the uncontrollable effects of urban sprawl.

"I will work toward controlling the escalation of traffic problems and address existing flooding throughout the community," she said. "I will continue to work with the Planning Board to ensure that all local, state and federal regulations concerning environmental assessment and wetlands are enforced, so as to preserve the beauty and safety of our community. Most importantly, I will address the revitalization of our infrastructure."

Montour, a partner with the law firm Amigone, Sanchez, Mattrey & Marshall, was appointed to the Town Board on Jan. 1, 1996. He was elected to a full, four-year term in November 1997.

"When I first took office, the Town of Lancaster was saddled with a million-dollar budgetary deficit," Montour said. "Since that time, our administration has set a high standard of fiscal responsibility and management, which have resulted in tax reductions over the past two years. Furthermore, we anticipate a tax reduction in the 2002 budget."

He is in favor of intermunicipal cooperative agreements with local and adjoining municipalities and has supported the merger of the tax receiver's and town clerk's office, which resulted in an annual savings of $53,000, he said.

"I also supported the merger of the town and village of Lancaster building departments, with a savings of $30,000 a year. Furthermore, I support the study of a merger of the town and village police departments, which may generate savings of $750,000," Montour said.

He also donated his Town Board raise this year to several various charitable organizations, primarily those benefiting Native Americans and children.

Ruffino has been a town Democratic committeeman for four years. He is the vice president in charge of Electronic Data Interchange for HSBC Bank.

Szary is a peace officer at the Wyoming Correctional Facility. A Lancaster Republican committeeman for about three years, Szary ran against Paul A. Tokasz, D-Cheektowaga, in 1998 for Assembly.

e-mail: dswilliams@buffnews.com

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