Another election season is nearly complete, so we're going to offer up some analysis and maybe a prediction or two.
What has stood out to me is the fact that too many county legislature candidates in Niagara Falls, including incumbents, have come out against downsizing of the Niagara County Legislature. Dennis Virtuoso, Nick Melson & Ric Marasco have all stated that they do not support it because Niagara Falls will lose representation.
Look - this is a byproduct of consolidation. Residents of Western New York have resoundingly stated their desire for smaller government. Yes, Niagara Falls will likely lose some representation, but that is because the city has lost population. The irony of Virtuoso crying out against consolidation is that he has done nothing in his nearly 20 years in the county legislature to make Niagara Falls a more attractive place to live, work and do business. If Virtuoso had spent 1/100th of the time he plays politics working for the betterment of the city he allegedly represents, maybe the city wouldn't be talking about a shrinking population and loss of representation.
The race for Wheatfield Supervisor has certainly taken a pleasant turn after a nasty primary election. Tuesday's race will feature former Town Justice Bob Cliffe against union rep Sam Conti. It seems both Cliffe and Conti are gentlemen and the only ingredient missing is the contentiousness of soon-to-be former supervisor Tim Demler. He started the mud-slinging in the primary against Cliffe when he revealed Cliffe's confidential personnel records to the media and hasn't stopped his nasty mud-slinging yet, despite the fact that he is completely irrelevant. A write-in vote for Demler is a wasted one. Cliffe wins with 57% of the vote.
In Lewiston, incumbent Supervisor Fred Newlin is facing a strong challenge from Highway Superintendent Steve Reiter. Kathryn Lake Mazierski is also on the ballot on the I line. Newlin has gone on the defensive, accusing Reiter of doing favors for political allies, allegations which Newlin subsequently withdrew and apologized for. Reiter is well-known and well-liked. The 37% pay raise for Newlin and the huge jump in homeowner's utility bills over the past month are extremely problematic for Newlin. Reiter wins with 54% of the vote.
The race for North Tonawanda Mayor pits incumbent Larry Soos against current City Clerk/Treasurer Rob Ortt. Soos had a back-door victory for the position last election when two other candidates split the vote allowing him to sneak in. He won't be so lucky this time. Ortt is young, vibrant and will take a more aggressive approach to solving the city's problem. Ortt takes 60% of the vote.
We'll look at some of the county legislature races Monday. Have a nice weekend.
Should you be out and about tomorrow tonight, I'll be dressed as Barack Obama. Hell, he masquerades as a leader every day of the the year, I can pull it off for Halloween.