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New councilor joins City of Tonawanda Common Council

William Reece was sworn in on Tuesday to represent the First Ward in the City of Tonawanda.

He was one of five people who sought the seat after Charles Gilbert resigned Feb. 9 to take a full-time position as Mayor Rick Davis' administrative assistant. Gilbert, one of two Republicans on the Council, had served as First Ward councilor for eight years and was re-elected in November.

Reece, a member of the Women's Equality Party, has been endorsed as a Republican in unsuccessful runs for Council president in 1997, First Ward councilor in 2001 and State Assembly four years ago.

Reece will have to run for election in November to remain on the Council, and Reece said he plans to do that.

Reece is the director of finance at the Northtowns Boys and Girls Club and has been a volunteer firefighter at Delaware Hose No. 2 since 1992. He also has served on several city advisory boards and teaches Sunday school at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.

"Every time you run, even if you are not confirmed, it gives you a chance to talk about the community and why you like the community and how to help the community," said Reece.

No Democrats applied for appointment to the First Ward seat, said Common Council President Jenna Koch.

The Council also welcomed a new deputy city attorney, Brittanylee Penberthy, of East Amherst. She was appointed by recently appointed City Attorney S. Michael Rua. Rua will also run for election to his seat in November. Mayor Davis waived the residency requirement for Penberthy.


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