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Where we live: Depew


Depew’s Village Board will have a new look come April 6, when newly elected leaders are sworn into office.

Voters last week sent a strong message by electing Renew Depew Party candidates Jesse Nikonowicz as the new mayor, along with political newcomers Karl Bukowiecki and Kevin Peterson as new board trustees.

The Renew Depew slate enjoyed an overwhelming victory by beating Village Preservation Party candidates Mayor Steven P. Hoffman and Trustees Jules Pecora and Michael Nolder, all seeking their second term.

“We said it would be close, so I was overwhelmed by the numbers,” said Nikonowicz, a former trustee. “The voters have spoken and we have our work cut out for us.”

Now that the board majority will swing 4 to 1 in favor of the Renew Depew-backed leaders, Trustee Linda Hammer will be the lone voice from the Preservation Party.

The big issues to tackle will be the 2015-16 budget proposal, appointments to the Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals and to address the village administrator’s office. Current Trustee Robert M. Kucewicz, founder of Renew Depew, said there may be interest in reverting the administrator position back to a village clerk/treasurer. Presently, Village Administrator Elizabeth Melock also heads public works department operations.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Kucewicz said. “The mayor should release the budget soon, and we’ll have to start tearing those numbers apart quickly.”

The Village Preservation Party has not talked publicly about the race, but posted on its Facebook page Thursday: “We fought hard, we fought well and we stayed above the fray of pettiness and mudslinging, despite the opposition’s methods.”

Yet, another post on by Preservation Party backers urged residents to put their seat belts on for “a long, four-year ride.”

This week:

• The Village Board meets in a work session at 6:15 p.m. Monday before its regular session at 7 in the Municipal Building, 85 Manitou St.

• The Zoning Board of Appeals meets at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Municipal Building.