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4 tenants vying for 2 seats on board; Election is being conducted by mail

Election for two tenant seats on the BMHA board of commissioners is under way.

Ballots are expected to go out this week to all eligible voters living in developments owned and managed by the authority, said Alan Dozoretz, election services chairman for the League of Women Voters of Buffalo Niagara.

The organization is the independent third party administering the election for the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.

Residents can vote for two candidates to fill the two seats on the board. Each term is two years.

All voting will be done by mail. The ballots sent to residents include biographical information on each candidate and a self-addressed stamped envelope to be returned to the League.

Ballots must be postmarked by June 12 and will be counted on June 15, Dozoretz said.

The candidates are Rudolphus Boans Jr.; incumbent commissioners Elaine Diallo and Joseph A. Mascia; and Denise Smith.

Boans lives in Frederick Douglass Towers on Jefferson Avenue. A community leader for more than 45 years, he is a co-founder of local anti-violence groups Stop the Violence Coalition and 100 Mighty Men. Boans also is a fundraising consultant, a youth counselor and a grief counselor for people who have lost loved ones through violence.

A resident of Shaffer Village on North Lane for the past 25 years, Diallo is running for a second term. She has served on the Resident Council for five years, is currently its president and is the vice chairman of the Jurisdiction-Wide Resident Council of Buffalo. She is a family support specialist with a master's degree in multidisciplinary studies from Buffalo State College.

A cement mason, Mascia has been a tenant of Marine Drive Apartments for the past 14 years. He is chairman of the City of Buffalo's Police Reorganization Commission. He sits on several committees of the BMHA, including safety, operations and economic development. Mascia is running for his fourth term as a commissioner.

Smith has been a Shaffer Village resident at Isabelle Street for the past year. Before that, she lived at Lakeview Homes on the lower West Side for three years. She has an associate degree in criminal justice from Erie Community College.

For more information on the election process, call the League of Women Voters at 884-3550.