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Longtime North Tonawanda political figure not seeking re-election

NORTH TONAWANDA – North Tonawanda Common Council President Phillip “Russ” Rizzo announced Thursday he will not seek re-election in November.

Rizzo, who has represented the city as an alderman and a Niagara County Legislator for the past 15 years, was named president in 2014 – an honor he considers “a culmination of my time in elected office.”

In a statement Rizzo said, “During my time in office, North Tonawanda has certainly had its share of challenges. However working collaboratively and cooperatively, we have faced those challenges head-on and I am optimistic of the path our city is on, knowing that better days are ahead.”

Among those accomplishments, he said, are lower city taxes, downtown economic development, transforming the long-dormant city marina into a summer destination and putting an end to flooding on Witmer Road.