Election Day 2017: Candidate profiles

16Meet the Candidates List

The Cheektowaga Chronicle has compiled a candidates list to give you insight into each candidate running for town council or a county office.  The list begins with town council candidates and then proceeds into county offices.

Patrick Delaney is running on the Republican and Reform lines for town council.  We asked for a profile through the town’s GOP committee, but a profile was not submitted by the candidate.

15James Rogowski – Town Council – D, C, W

Submitted campaign photo of Jim Rogowski.

Rich in Ideas, Right for Cheektowaga. As a lifelong resident of our great town and a proud parent of three beautiful daughters along with my loving wife, it would be my honor to have your support on election day to represent all residents in the Town of Cheektowaga and the Villages of Depew and Sloan.

Together, we can and will create a proud town where people come to work, to live and to raise a family, making Cheektowaga a destination for many.  As a councilmember, I have prided myself on “Thinking outside the box, demanding the best for everyone”, residents and businesses. Leading the way in Economic Development, a fighter and supporter for a greener communities, Supporting our Police-Strong on Public Safety; Dedicated to rebuilding & reinventing neighborhoods, Helping/Fighting /Standing up for Veterans and Firefighters. Leadership you can count on.  

As councilmember, you have seen firsthand my colleagues and I work together to promote fiscal stability, economic development, park beautification, provide public services and public safety. We have worked together collaborating for an open and honest government that works with people, listens to people/ businesses and understands peoples’/ business’s needs. We have moved our agenda forward, predicated on our constituents’ and business needs. 

I head the following committees as you town councilmember; Planning & zoning-economic development, Environmental Quality Review /Energy Conservation – green projectors making Cheektowaga a greener community. Cable & Utilities working on contracts with Spectrum, Verizon, Dish and Direct TV demanding the best for our town, Transportation Agencies Liaison, Historic Preservation, Veterans Affairs, and Youth & Recreation.

Today, more than ever, our community, our taxpayers, our residents, our businesses depend on representatives who have a proven record to get the job done. I have proven to be a viable board member who works together and who is dedicated, hardworking and honest. My work ethic, whether in the public sector or private sector, speaks for the best interest of all people.  Today, I ask for your vote of confidence for re-election to our town council position. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to continuing to work hard for all of us.

14Carol Przybylak – Town Council – G

Submitted Campaign photo of Carol Przybylak.

My name is Carol Sandy Przybylak, Endorsed Green Party Candidate for Cheektowaga Town Council. My husband Mark and I have been residents of Cheektowaga/Sloan for 27 years. We have two adult children and one grandchild. I have an AAS degree, am a Notary Public and a CSEA/AFSCME union member.  

I was a voting Democrat for forty years and became politically active two years ago during the Bernie Sanders campaign and served as his Elected Delegate to the DNC.  I switched to Green Party came after the 2016 election.  I was attracted to the platform which is built on the foundation of four pillars: democracy, social justice, ecology, and peace, and it’s blueprint for change The Green New Deal.

I am running to bring a working-class perspective to the board having faced many of the challenges of my neighbors – finding affordable housing; gainful employment; and affordable elder and child care.   I have experienced property damage and hardship due to our aging infrastructure, specifically the sanitary sewer system.

We have enough big box stores, national chain restaurants, and strip plazas.  My goal: to focus on supporting and retaining residents through working with the environmental committee for clean energy incentives; the newly-formed vacant and abandoned properties task force on residential property rehab and equal representation for all areas of Cheektowaga.

I am retiring from ECMC this December and will devote full time to Town Council if elected.   Look for me on The Green Party – Row D of the ballot on November 7, 2017.

13Doreen Friedrich – Town Council – R, REF

Submitted campaign photo of Doreen Friedrich.

I Doreen Friedrich am seeking the office of Cheektowaga town council because I want to serve the residents of the town.

I am a lifelong resident of the town. I am a graduate of Cheektowaga Central.  I have deep roots in Cheektowaga. I am a homeowner and taxpayer.   I have been married for 38 years, and my husband and I raised 2 sons who went through the Maryvale school system.  I am a long time member of Cheektowaga community Baptist church.  I have been employed in the private sector for over 30 years.  I am currently employed at M&T bank in the business banking division. 

I have volunteered for numerous political candidates over the last 12 years.  This is my first time running for political office.  I am fiscally conservative.  I am a new choice for Cheektowaga.

There are many good aspects about Cheektowaga, good location, numerous parks, and shops.  However, there are also concerns regarding rising taxes and a shrinking population.  If elected I would be a fresh set of eyes to look over the budget.  I would like to see term limits for town council members. I have spoken with many town residents, and would like to bring their concerns regarding quality-of-life issues to the board members.

I humbly ask for your vote on, Tuesday, November 7.  I am a hard worker.  I work well with people.  I have always worked with dedication and integrity.  I am asking for the chance to represent all of the residents of the town.

12Alice Magierski – Town Council – C

Submitted campaign photo of Alice Magierski.

In 2016 I ran for the one-year vacancy on the Town Board and the opportunity to serve the residents of our great Town.  18,233 registered voters considered me worthy of their vote to secure me the seat on the Town Board in 2017.

My projects so far this year have included beginning a Choose Cheektowaga Campaign to promote and market our Town as a great place to live and grow.

In partnership with our Police Crime Prevention Office and our school district’s, I helped host three-spring forums and one scheduled for the fall on Internet and Cyber Safety and Awareness.  I created a new Vehicle and Equipment Purchasing Requisition Form to give the Town Board a tool in approving these types of purchases.  I have also begun the process of improving our Town paper, envelope and office supply purchasing practices.

As the former Town Clerk/Tax Receiver and having served as the District Treasurer for the Cheektowaga-Sloan School District I have gained a strong understanding of government and the needs of our community.

I may not be a new face, but I am a face you know and can trust.  I may not be a new name but it is a name you know and a woman you can depend on.   I am confident that my knowledge, experience, and ideas will be a benefit to the Town Board and to our residents.

I have been honored this year to have earned the confidence and endorsement of the Cheektowaga Police Captains and Lieutenants Association, the Conservative Party, the Working Families Party, the WNY AFL-CIO, the Ironworkers Local Union No. 6, District Council #4 Painters and Allied Trades of America and Canada, WNY Council of Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the WNY Teamsters Joint Council No. 46.   Most importantly I am appreciative to have received the vote of 18,233 registered voters of Cheektowaga on the Democratic line in 2016.

It will be an honor to have the opportunity to serve the residents of our Town as your Councilwoman for the next four years.

11Tim Meyers – Town Council – D, C

Submitted campaign photo of Tim Meyers.

Tim Meyers was elected to the Town Council in 2013 and has served as the Deputy Town Supervisor since January 2016. Tim looks to continue his family’s strong commitment and dedication to public service that began with his dad, former Town Supervisor Ken Meyers. Tim is a true representative of the residents and listened to their concerns in 2014 when he voted ‘NO’ on going to an 100% assessment. He is currently endorsed by the Cheektowaga Police Club, Cheektowaga Police Captains & Lieutenants Association and the Western New York AFL-CIO.

 

 

 

10Roger Heymanowski – Town Council – R, REF

I am a retired Vocational Instructor/teacher, a Vietnam combat veteran, a husband of 47 years, father of three, grandfather of five, a former, business owner, Executive Director of Youth Conservation Corps, Erie County Deputy Sheriff, Marketing consultant and Host of a local television show. With a BA degree in Communication, Associate Degree Recreation leadership, and with other life experiences, I intend to bring qualified leadership to the Cheektowaga Town Board.

I became a candidate because I see Cheektowaga heading in the same direction of increased taxes, poor services, lack of foresight, infrastructure problems, poor fiscal management, no transparency of town business and lack of leadership.

When elected, I will recommend no increase in town taxes, have a complete and comprehensive audit of town assets and allow no town employee to serve as chairperson of town political parties. I will also re-evaluate town contracts, town expenditures and hiring procedures of town employees.I will develop an improved town marketing strategy, veteran awareness programs and improve town assessment procedures. Finally, I will develop transparency venues, utilizing government access stations for town citizens to see what transpires at town meetings and I will donate my councilperson salary to varied charities.

Having constant increases in town taxes, fiscal problems, lack of transparency and many other problems, Cheektowaga residents need a council person with new ideology, new initiatives, higher standards and a plan that will take Cheektowaga into the 21st century on a more positive note.

9Brian Nowak – Town Council – D, W, WEP

Submitted campaign photo of Brain Nowak.

I’m Brian Nowak and I am running for Cheektowaga town council because we have a crisis in declining civic participation. We need a new generation of leaders committed to inclusive, open, and transparent government.

I’m 30 years old and I’m a first-time candidate for public office. My wife Holly and I have lived just across from the town park for the past 11 years. I graduated from Buffalo State College in 2011, the first in my family to get a college degree. Since then, I have gained experience managing area convenience stores, as well as working on various issues and political campaigns. I have experience taking struggling operations and making them flourish again.

I have spent the last four months going to countless doors daily, hearing from residents about this year’s election. What I’ve found is that they are thrilled to see a fresh face. I’ve heard their concerns about broken streetlights and needing roadwork, their concerns with the tax burden and the assessment process, and I’ve spoken with residents about their hopes for the future.

Here are some of my plans:

On safety – We need a council member devoting time to recruiting new volunteer firefighters. Cheektowaga’s volunteer fire companies used to have waiting lists. These days, they struggle to find volunteers, and our elected leaders need to address this issue.

On Taxes – Right now, we need to hold the line on taxes as we continue to invite town residents to participate in shaping the budget. We can maintain the high quality of services our residents have come to expect, yet find needed savings. Cheektowaga has an aging population. We have an obligation to our seniors to ensure that they do not have to choose between higher property tax bills and other necessities.

On quality of life – We have to address the issue of vacant “zombie” properties in our neighborhoods that sit empty for years on end, decreasing property values. New laws, new state grant money, and best practices from across the US will help us solve this problem.  We need banks and private owners keeping vacant properties up to code, ready for resale.  Cheektowaga has some serious problem properties in need of demolition. I have seen success stories when it comes to zombie properties, and I will bring about more as a council member.

On open government – I believe we need more open and transparent government. Cheektowaga should join Buffalo and Amherst in filming council meetings and putting them online. Our residents increasingly use the web and social media to interact with employers, doctors, and friends. Local government should follow suit. Filmed meetings will give residents the access they need to become more informed advocates for themselves and their neighbors.

In the coming years, we will have to make hard choices. We need someone new at the table, committed to making the best decisions for Cheektowaga residents based on their concerns.

8Steve Cichon – County Clerk – D, W, WEP

Campaign photo of Steve Cichon.

Starting at the age of 15, Steve spent 20 years working in Buffalo radio and television news, including ten years as a reporter and News Director at WBEN Radio. Since then, he’s spent the last four years as an adjunct professor at Medaille College and a freelance writer and historian, primarily for The Buffalo News and his own start-up Buffalo Stories LLC.

His ties in the community run deep. Steve grew up in South Buffalo and Orchard Park, attending Holy Family Grammar School, Orchard Park High School, and UB along the way. For the last 17 years, Steve and his wife Monica have been in their North Buffalo home, actively involved in St. Mark Roman Catholic Church and the Parkside community.

Having held two different corporate management positions and twice the president of a non-profit, Steve brings not only an outside perspective—but the leadership skills to put new, innovative ideas in motion as he has done over and over again.

The 39-year-old award-winning reporter and community leader says it’s time to put all that he’s learned and the relationships he’s forged to work for greater good. Steve’s excited about the positive change happening across Erie County and looks at the Erie County Clerk’s Office as the place where “the rubber hits the road.”

“When you make it easier to start a small business, when you bring the process of buying and selling property and visiting the DMV into the Internet age, you’ve made it that much easier for our county to grow our citizens to thrive and have better faith in our government. That all takes leadership and an outside perspective. I’m proud to be the only candidate bringing those skills to the race for Erie County Clerk.”

7Michael Kearns – County Clerk – R, C, I, REF

Campaign photo of Michael Kearns.

As a cross-endorsed Assemblyman, Mickey Kearns has always been an independent voice, fighting against corruption and advocating for our community’s most vulnerable. He takes politics out of the job by focusing on real issues affecting real people. Now, Mickey is running for Erie County Clerk and wants to implement this people first policy at the Clerk’s office.

After 14 years in the private sector, and over a decade in public service, Mickey has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Erie County residents. Our community is important to Mickey, and his track record reflects his dedication to Western New York.

He has worked across the aisle to get the job done:

  • Co-sponsored legislation to keep the WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center open to save the children in our region
  • Led the Charge in Erie County to combat zombie properties and improve our neighborhoods
  • Fought to regain funding cut from our special needs community

As a New York State Assemblyman, Mickey Kearns delivered real results for his district by finding local solutions to local problems.

As our County Clerk, Mickey wants to continue improving our community by:

  • Providing premier customer service at the Clerk’s office and DMV locations
  • Fostering small business growth throughout Erie County
  • Combating zombie properties
  • Continuing to support our veterans by growing the “Thank A Vet” program
  • Increasing access and advocate for our most vulnerable, including those with special needs

As a lifelong Buffalo resident, Mickey has spent his career working for the people of Western New York. A Bishop Timon High School and Canisius College graduate, Mickey is proud to give back to the community where he grew up. Mickey is the son of Mary, a Lackawanna native, and Paul, a South Buffalo Firefighter. He and his wife, Erin, live in South Buffalo with their daughter McKenna.

6Vanessa Glushefski – County Comptroller – D, W, WEP

Campaign photo of Venessa Glushefski.

Vanessa Glushefski is a Certified Public Account and an attorney. She moved to Erie County just under a decade ago and fell in love with the region and its potential. Vanessa is deeply committed to fairness, accuracy, and justice. Vanessa’s credentials as a CPA and attorney make her uniquely qualified for the role of Erie County Comptroller.

As an accountant, she focused on providing services with excellence, complex tax issues, and worked on accounts worth millions of dollars. Throughout her legal career, she has focused on providing accessible legal services to at-risk communities.  She has offered volunteer services to the elderly and low-income individuals. Vanessa has also served as a board member for the American Constitution Society, the Women’s Bar Association of WNY, and Peaceprints of Western New York. A mother of four, she lives in the City of Buffalo with her husband and daughters.

5Stefan Mychajliw – County Comptroller – R, C, I, REF

Campaign photo of Stefan Mychajliw.

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Iwan Mychajliw is the son of Polish and Ukrainian immigrants, the youngest of seven children, who grew up in blue-collar beginnings near the corner of William and Fillmore on the East Side of Buffalo. Erie County’s “independent watchdog” has a lengthy career protecting taxpayers following his education at Syracuse University, in his role as an investigative journalist at WKBW-TV and WGRZ-TV in Buffalo.

His award-winning investigative reports uncovered numerous cases of fraud, waste, and abuse in Erie County government that lead to good government reforms that better served taxpayers. To lead by example Comptroller Mychajliw’s first hard hitting review was of his own department: the Office of Erie County Comptroller. The top to bottom review revealed troubling inefficiencies.

Numerous reforms were implemented to clean up the department, and a CPA was hired to lead the Audit Division for the first time since 1986. The people of Erie County first elected 42-year-old Stefan I. Mychajliw Erie County Comptroller on November 6th, 2012 to complete the remaining year left on a vacated term. Comptroller Mychajliw won re-election to a full four-year term on November 5th, 2013. Husband to Ashley, a social worker, and proud father of Mia Theresa Mychajliw, a middle school student.

4Timothy Howard – County Sheriff – R, C, I, REF

Campaign photo of Tim Howard.

Tim has spent nearly 50 years in law enforcement and has received honors and awards for his service in fighting crime throughout our community.

Sheriff Howard started as a patrol officer in Gowanda then Eden.  He built a strong foundation as a police officer, and later met the high standards to join the New York State Police.  There, Tim earned multiple promotions and achieved the rank of Staff Inspector in the State Police, the fourth highest rank in an organization of more than 4,000 employees.  He coordinated the expert services in the State Police Forensic Investigation Center and supervised the Planning and Research Section which is responsible for developing program officer development and implementing technological advancements to fight crime.  He also ensured the agency’s officers maintained the high standards by conducting the most difficult internal affairs investigations.

As an outstanding law enforcement professional and public servant, Tim is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Brummer Award, the highest award given by the NY State Police for his actions during a 1982 domestic violence incident where his partner, Trooper Gary Kubasiak, was tragically killed.  He also received recognition from the New York State Legislature for his work to prevent school violence as well as the Hero’s Award from the 100 Club of Buffalo, the Erie County Law Enforcement Award, the Judges and Police Conference Outstanding Law Enforcement Award and the Attorney General’s Award in 2008.

As Erie County Sheriff, Tim has taken major steps to implement innovative and award winning programs within the Sheriff’s Office but his main focus remains protecting the citizen of Erie County and fighting crime – especially the opiate epidemic.  Sheriff Howard was one of the first law enforcement leaders to join the county’s Opiate Task Force, and his office provides services for individuals seeking help to break the addiction cycle.  The Sheriff has increased the size and activity of the Narcotics Unit to investigate and arrest drug dealers.  Since January 2017, Tim’s office has executed over 100 warrants and seized approximately 100 ounces of heroin and fentanyl, 250 ounces of cocaine, and recovered 44 illegally possessed firearms.  Sheriff Howard is committed to getting fentanyl and heroin off our streets and is allocating multiple resources to battle this epidemic throughout Erie County.

Sheriff Howard is a 2000 graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from SUNY Albany.  He has taught extensively at the State Police Academy in Albany and the Criminal Justice Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  And because of Sheriff Howard’s expertise and dedication to protecting the public, he is the Co-Chair of Homeland Security Zone 15 that oversee counter terrorism activities.

Sheriff Howard is a husband, the father of three daughters, two sons and has six grandchildren.  He resides in South Wales, New York.

3Bernie Tolbert – County Sheriff – D, W, WEP

Photo of Bernie Tolbert.

County Sheriff is an important job that oversees the safety and security of Erie County’s citizens and public spaces. The sheriff is responsible for, among other things, keeping county roads safe, investigating and stopping crime, handling public emergencies, and protecting women, children and others threatened by domestic violence. The Sheriff’s Department is also responsible for the county jails, and the holding center, where prisoners are secured before trial and after they have been convicted.

 These are important matters, and Erie County deserves to have the best possible sheriff in charge of addressing them. Someone who understands our community’s needs. Someone with law enforcement credentials and experience. Someone with fresh ideas to improve the operations of the Sheriff’s Department and overcome tough new challenges to public safety. And someone who won’t play politics with the sheriff’s badge.

I possess the traits necessary to be the sheriff Erie County needs and deserves. I have the background. I am Buffalo born and raised and I’ve held jobs throughout Erie county. I have the experience. During my thirty-two-year career in law enforcement, security and investigative work, I ran the FBI’s Buffalo Division which encompassed Erie and the 17 other counties of Western New York. I have the ideas we need to clean up the mess in the County Holding Center, halt the rise in street violence that is spreading across the county, and attack the opioid epidemic that is destroying families and robbing lives. 

I am Buffalo-born and Buffalo-bred. I love our city, I love our county, I love Western New York. And I want to make a difference. I want to protect and help complete the Buffalo renaissance — for the entire county, from Grand Island to Sardinia, and from Lackawanna to Lancaster.

We live in a great community. I believe it is the best in the country. A great community deserves a great Sheriff’s Department. I hope you will support my candidacy and join my campaign.  Together, we will call on the traditions, values and qualities that make Western New York great. We will protect and defend our great community. We will lead it into a bright and promising future.

2Ten Morton – County Legislature 8th – R,C, I, REF

Campaign photo of Ted Morton.

For the past four years, I’ve had the honor to serve as Legislator of the 8th Legislative District and I am seeking re-election this year.

I’m proud of my time in office, serving the taxpayers of Alden, Cheektowaga, Depew, and Lancaster. During my tenure, the Legislature has cut taxes, held the line on spending and invested in our community. I will continue to uphold my pledge to fight for tax relief every year that I am in office. In addition, I led the fight to stop pay increases for elected officials.

We’ve increased funding to fight the ongoing opioid epidemic with millions of new dollars for innovative public/private partnerships with organizations and not non-for-profits to find new ways to combat this epidemic. This issue is close to my heart, having lost my brother at a young age due to a drug overdose. It is critical that we continue to provide the necessary resources to combat this issue and prevent further loss of life.

I’ve worked to increase funding for roads, leading to the reconstruction of Penora Street, Rowley Road, Losson Road and Exchange Street. I advocated with my colleagues in local government to widen Transit Road, resulting in the removal of one of the train bridges in order to begin the long-term, improvement project.
 
We’ve increased funding for cultural programs and parks as well. Working with local officials and residents, I’ve led efforts to finally dredge Como Lake, resulting in the Legislature approving my recommendation to include the project as part of the Erie County Shared Services Plan. Dredging as part of the Shared Services Initiative will result in significant savings through collaboration with local governments.

I’ve worked with our local business community to remove bureaucratic red tape and create new jobs without using a single taxpayer dollar. I proudly sponsored the Made in America Act to require the county purchase goods and services made right here in the United States. The measure passed the Legislature but was unfortunately vetoed by the County Executive. Though I am disappointed, I have already started working with the County Executive’s Office and the County Attorney’s Office on compromise legislation. This law is good for our workers and manufacturers.

I proudly stood up to ensure our county’s union workers received a fair deal that also benefited taxpayers during recent contract negotiations.

In addition, I serve as a board member for WNY Kidney Connection, which connects individuals in immediate need of a new kidney with those caring enough to donate. I’m also a board member of the Lancaster Kiwanis and BB&G Charities, and have been a long-time member of the Dick Urban Community Association.

I am running for re-election to the Legislature because I’m proud of my record and I will continue to advocate for lower taxes and smaller, smarter government. Being your County Legislator has been the greatest honor of my life and I hope I can count on your support to continue serving you.

1John Bruso – County Legislature 8th – D, G, W, WEP

Campaign photo of John Bruso.

By way of introduction, my name is John Bruso, and I am running for Erie County legislator in the 8th District. I am seeking office because our community deserves strong leadership skills. After being encouraged to enter the political arena, it has never been clearer that a time of great change is needed, and it is my goal to work for you, your family and our community.

I have been married to my wife, Linda, for 33 years. We have two children, Sean, 28, and Megan, 26. Linda and I both grew up in Cheektowaga and have lived in Lancaster for the last 24 years. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to live and raise our family in this safe, successful community, as we believe in strong family values.

I will bring the skill set that I have gained from my career at UPS after 30 years of service. I began as a delivery driver and worked my way up the ranks to management and employee relations. The legislator needs experience that accompanies a dexterity of cooperation, negotiation and a common sense business approach I achieved at UPS.

MagierskiI have been honored to serve in leadership positions in many community organizations, but, most fortunate to be a part of Families Touched by MS, as executive director; Renaissance Addiction Services Inc., board of directors; and Kids Escaping Drugs Foundation, president.

My commitment to you is that I will represent your values and interests. I humbly ask for your support on Nov. 7.