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Cheektowaga board appoints 2 to fill ethics panel vacancies

A Villa Maria College employee and an insurance agent are the two newest faces on the Town of Cheektowaga's Board of Ethics.

Kathleen E. Seibold is director of special events at the college, while Dan G. Dallmann is an agent for Nationwide Insurance.

Both were unanimously appointed by the Town Board last month to fill vacancies on the five-member board. Both seats on the ethics panel had essentially been vacant since 2003.

The appointees mean the panel has two Republicans, two Democrats and a member of the Independence Party.

In her search for appointees, Supervisor Mary F. Holtz said, she reached out to the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce and former Police Chief Christine Ziemba. Seibold is a past board member at the Chamber and currently serves on some Chamber committees, while Dallmann served on the Police Chief's Advisory Board from 2007 to 2010.

Holtz said she takes personal responsibility for having the seats left vacant for so long.

"I guess when I first started, I had too much on my plate," she said. "I probably should have been more on top of following through on the filling of these positions, but there were so many other things that were going on at the time."

The State Comptroller's Office, in March 2010, found the town's ethics code was deficient in several areas, including provisions on the hiring and supervising of relatives.

The Comptroller's Office, in a letter to town officials, noted the town's ethics code was adopted in 1985, with only "minimal amendments" made in 1993 and 1994.

There have been a few updates to the code in recent years, including an amendment passed in January to a section on financial status disclosures.

In November 2009, the Town Board appointed Joseph Gallo to the panel, only to have to remove him because he was a Conservative Party committeeman. No one who holds a position in a political party is allowed to serve on the panel.

Seibold, a registered Democrat who said she doesn't vote strictly on party lines, serves on the board of the Cheektowaga Senior Foundation. She said she plans to attend her first meeting of the ethics panel tonight.

"If I can use my experience and expertise to be of service to the town in a good way, then I'm more than happy to give it a try," she said.

Dallmann, who is registered with the Independence Party, is an exempt volunteer firefighter with the U-Crest and Cleveland Hill fire companies.

"I was asked if I'd be willing to volunteer to help the Town of Cheektowaga out," he said, "and being a Cheektowagan all my life, I said, 'Yeh, I'd be willing to help out.' "

Thomas S. Kulaszewski serves as the panel's chairman; the other members are Eleanor A. Peinkofer and Jeanne Pawlik. Pawlik's term expired Aug. 1, but Holtz said she plans to have the board consider her reappointment soon.

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