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Some familiar faces throw their hats into the ring in Town of Lewiston elections

LEWISTON – The announcements have been coming in for Town of Lewiston elections, including some incumbents, experienced former politicians and newcomers.

Town Board member Ronald Winkley said this past week that he will not run for re-election.

Winkley, who previously served on the Village Board and was the longtime Village of Lewiston police chief, said, “Thirty-four years of service is enough.”

Supervisor Dennis Brochey, the lone Democrat on the board, has also given notice that he will not seek re-election and his deputy mayor Mark J. Briglio has been endorsed as a Democrat to succeed Brochey. Steve Broderick, a lieutenant with the Niagara County Sheriffs Department has also announced he will run for the top spot and will seek the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines on the ballot.

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Town Clerk Donna R. Garfinkel has also announced her candidacy. She was appointed acting town clerk in 2013 and was overwhelmingly elected in 2014 to fill the unexpired term of Carol J. Brandon.

Garfinkel said she has searched for ways to save the town money while providing courteous and efficient services.

The Lewiston Democratic Committee has endorsed incumbent Garfinkel for re-election and also incumbent Town Justices Thomas Sheeran and Hugh Gee. Both are longtime veterans of the bench in Lewiston Town Court

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Town of Lewiston resident and former assemblywoman Francine DelMonte is one of two Democrats seeking a spot on the Town Board.

She said she has been an observer of town government for many years and believes that it is time to get involved once again.

She credits Brochey with bringing order to the town’s fiscal situation and preventing a town tax.

“I believe we need to be vigilant in preventing financial boondoggles such as the Joseph Davis State Park takeover and continue the path of fiscal prudence.”

“We need to focus on investments that improve our quality of life, protect our natural assets, fix our infrastructure and keep hazardous waste trucks off our roads,” said DelMonte

DelMonte was appointed chairwoman of Niagara USA in 2013 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She is a member of St. Peter’s Church, the Lewiston Council on the Arts, the Lewiston Democratic Committee and the St. Francis Guild of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital. She is also a volunteer at Artpark and serves on its auxiliary board.

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Longtime Lewiston resident Robin “Rob” Morreale, who was also endorsed by the Democrat Party, will also seek a spot on the Town Board.

Morreale is the co-owner and operator of Collision Enterprises Inc., an auto body repair shop in Niagara Falls. He has also served on the board of directors of the Pine Avenue Business Association.

“Running a successful small business has taught me how important it is to pay attention to the details, watch the bottom line and be honest with people,” Morreale said. “I believe these traits are also important in town government.”

Morreale has been a member of the Buffalo Autobody Guild Association and served as an usher at St. Joseph’s Church in Niagara Falls. He also coached Lewiston recreational baseball and softball teams.

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Also running for a seat on the town board is William E. Geiben, who most recently served as the Village of Lewiston mayor. He was a former trustee on the Village Board and prior to that was a councilman on the Town Board and served as the deputy supervisor. He will seek the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines.

Geiben said the most pressing issue facing Lewiston is financial stability. He noted the need to be prepared for challenges as sales tax and Modern tipping fees continue to decline. He said the town must find new revenue sources, such as grant money and appropriately utilize the power relicensing/Greenway funds.

Also, Geiben believes there is confusion about Greenway funds. He said, “It is essential that these funds are used properly and effectively.” He said it would be beneficial to publish a full report as to how much money has come to the town and how it has been allocated to town department, town special projects, shared with the village and benefitted residents through reduced water bills.

Geiben is a retired Lewiston-Porter social studies teacher and currently works part-time as student teacher field supervisor at Niagara University and Artpark as a house manager and sponsor services.

He is a member of the Friends of the Lewiston Library, the Historical Association of Lewiston, the Lewiston Council on the Arts, St. Peter’s Holy Name Society and an alternate member of the Town Zoning Board.

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Incumbent William C. Conrad was appointed early last year to fill the seat vacated by Councilman Ernest Palmer and ran successfully to complete Palmer’s one-year term. In November he will seek re-election to a full four-year term.

Conrad called himself part of a team and said, “I am proud of what the board has accomplished since I have been a member. We have been successful in resolving the Joseph State Park issues, reducing the town budget deficit, defending our environment against the CWM expansion and the spreading of Equate. Our board has also worked hard on mending relationships with the leadership of the Village and Artpark, as well as department heads.”

Conrad is a licensed architect, a retired U.S. Army officer who served for 24 years, a former school board president, a Niagara County Planning Board member, Rivershore Inc. board member, Orleans-Niagara BOCES board of education member, Zoning Board Chairman, WNY Veteran’s Housing Coalition board member, ROTC instructor and Leadership Niagara graduate.

Conrad works in construction management for the Dormitory Authority and has 30 years of experience in architectural design, planning and construction management.

“Of all the current members and those running for the board, I am the only candidate with professional experience in land planning, design and construction. I believe it’s very important to have someone on every municipal board with this type of experience,” said Conrad.

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Incumbent Highway Superintendent Douglas A. Janese will seek re-election to another four-year term.

Janese who was appointed in May 2010 to complete a partial term was elected to his seat in 2011 and will seek his second four-year term in November.

He said since his first day on the job his focus has been on the three S’s, which are safety, services and spending.

“Safety is the most important of the three and during my entire time in office there has not been a single auto injury attributed to poor winter road condition,” Janese.

He pointed to services his department provides, including allowing residents to put brush and leaves out for pickup on any day and electronics recycling program for residents he set up which saved over 70,000 pounds of electronics waste from going into a landfill in 2015.

Janese said his department has been able to reduce road salt usage and refurbished rather than replaced vehicles.

“During my 28 years of supervisory experience, I have learned to look for common sense solutions to getting the job done while holding down costs. Because of that I am proud to be able to say that during the time I have been in office, the highway department has finished each and every year with a budget surplus,” said Janese.

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David Trane, is the Democrat candidate for Lewiston Highway Superintendent. He said he has lived in Lewiston for more than 25 years.

Trane is a retired Niagara Falls firefighter and worked ten years for the New York State Department of Transportation.

While working for the Niagara Falls Fire Department he was president and vice president of Local 714, the Niagara Falls Firefighter’s Association.

He has New York State Code Enforcement Officers certificates for general construction principals and has take numerous courses at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations focusing on public employee law.

“I believe it is important to keep workers involved in sharing ideas and suggestions to make the highway department function more efficiently and effectively,” said Trane. He said, the highway department touches everybody’s lives and wants to provide a better flow of information for citizens.

email: nfischer@buffnews.com