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Highway candidates both claim party line

Both candidates for highway superintendent in the Town of Tonawanda contend that they already are backed by the Independence Party -- and that's true.

Incumbent Bradley A. Rowles has the support of the state organization, and challenger Daniel J. Crangle has that of the county organization.

But voters in the Sept. 15 primary election ultimately will determine who gets the party line on the November ballot.

Regardless, both candidates still will appear on several lines in November: Rowles on the Republican, Conservative and Tonawanda First party lines, and Crangle on the Democrat and Working Families lines.

Rowles, 53, has been highway superintendent since 2003 and has worked in the department since 1978.

As his top three accomplishments, Rowles cites saving more than $2 million by renegotiating contracts for disposal of solid waste, cleaning up after the October 2006 snowstorm and recently obtaining a $430,000 grant for the recycling program.

Crangle, 55, has been a firefighter with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority for 28 years. He is midway through his second full term on the Town Board.

He says his top three accomplishments are downsizing of the Town Board from seven members to five, introducing garbage totes to help curb the rodent population and helping develop the the town's veterans memorial.

What does each perceive as the biggest challenges facing the town?

Rowles identifies them as infrastructure issues related to the construction of the new water and sewer lines and their relationship to work done by the Highway Department.

Crangle points to controlling spending and trying to increase revenue to offset rising health care costs and diminishing state aid.

e-mail: jhabuda@buffnews.com

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