SPRINGVILLE — The village of Springville will elect candidates to two positions, during the March 18 general election: a mayor and trustee. Petitions to run for these spots can be filed as early as Feb. 4, and must be filed by Feb. 11. Official candidates will be announced at that time, but several residents have thrown their hats into the ring, already.
Incumbent mayoral candidate William Krebs will be challenged by Springville resident Thomas K. Czechowski. Deborah McClellan will also be running for one of the vacant board of trustees seats.
The candidates will be running under the newly formed People’s Empowerment Party.
“Most people you talk to in the village are completely disenfranchised from the decision-making processes that have guided the direction of the village. They have no idea what’s going on and they feel like they have no say. The same handful of people run unopposed, election after election. Who’s even going to vote, when there’s never a choice?” Czechowski said.
“It seems like all the village leadership wants to do is maintain the status quo – keep things running smoothly and play it safe. My vision is of a Springville that boldly creates new economic opportunities for its residents. I want us to be looked at, all across the state, as an innovative village that isn’t afraid to stand up for what the people here believe, instead of dutifully falling in line with statewide politics.”
His platform includes quarterly, open social gatherings, where the direction of the village can be directly communicated to residents. He also supports the second amendment and has pledged to work from the village level to help repeal the NY SAFE Act. He also believes the village should once again pursue energy independence and believes in supporting locally-owned businesses, as the primary engine for downtown and greater Springville economic development.
“If we take advantage of our many assets and resources and really get the people involved, we can make Springville the hottest new destination in Western New York,” he said.
Czechowski has lived in the village for 15 years and has two children.
Krebs is running for re-election for the office of mayor, and sitting trustee Terry Skelton and Bob Laskowski are running for the offices of trustee, as the Citizen Voice candidates.
The Citizen Voice candidates are running on a platform that believes that the service and infrastructure improvements provided by the village should bring added value to its neighborhoods. The annual village budget reflects the management and planning of these services and improvements. The Citizen Voice candidates pledge to:
– Launch gateway and streetscape improvements: The Village Center Development Plan has already begun with the M&T Park upgrade, the Master Plan update project and the $325,000 Erie County Smart Growth Fund Grant. Additionally, the plan calls for gateway improvements at South Cascade and West Main Street and South Cascade and Waverly, streetscape improvements on West Main, East Main, Mechanic and Franklin streets and creation of civic space near 65 Franklin St, and trail-town development.
– Take action on distressed properties, including management of tax liens, code enforcement and legal strategies, property assessment, land bank applications and community outreach and incentives. These actions will preserve property values and protect village housing stock.
– Provide effective and efficient village services, including long-term financial planning, to effectively deliver public safety, water, waste water treatment, electric, streets and parks services to the village residents.
– Re-use the railroad right-of-way as a linear park and trail, including partnerships and outreach to town, county, state and private groups, to transform the right-of-way in the village and beyond into usable green space.
– Grow regional and economic partnerships, including partnership with the Regional Economic Development Council, Erie County Industrial Development Agency, Erie County Planning, Springville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway, the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trails and other local and regional private and public entities.
Krebs is running for the office of mayor. He has been involved in village government since 1991,when he served as a member of the planning board. In 1998, he was appointed to a vacancy on the board of trustees and won reelection until 2005, when he became mayor.
He and his family moved to Springville in 1983, and his three children graduated from Springville-Griffith Institute. He and his wife Ginny have six grandchildren.
As mayor, Krebs serves as the vice-president of the Village Officials Association and a member of the board of directors of: the Erie County Association of Governments, the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway. He is a member of the One Region Forward Land Use Group and is the political liaison for the Pop Warner Trail Steering Committee and the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail Inc.
Skelton is running for the office of trustee. He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the village board in 2008, from his position on the zoning board of appeals. He has served as deputy mayor, for the past two years, and is the liaison to the village electric department and the Springville Volunteer Fire Department.
Skelton was born in Springville and has resided in the village throughout his adult life. He and his wife Lauri have three grown children and now three grandchildren, attending S-GI schools.
Skelton works at Moog Inc. in East Aurora and is currently IT manager in the corporate division. He serves on the board of directors for Springville Youth Inc. and currently holds the role of treasurer. He has coached youth teams in SYI for more than 25 years, in multiple sports. He was awarded the Springville Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award in 2005.
Skelton said he looks forward to continuing to serve the village residents with his skills in managing multi-million dollar budgets and large workforces.
Laskowski is running for the office of trustee. He has been a resident of the village of Springville for the past 27 years and lives in the village, along with his wife Susan and two daughters, Kristen and Ellen, who both attended S-GI.
As a resident, he was a member of the Springville Lions Club, in which he ran the meal program for the local shut-ins, during the holidays. He was a board member and a president of SYI and ran the ski club. He was involved in overseeing the pool renovation project, working closely with the town and village. Currently, he serves as the board president for The Children’s League.
He has been employed with B&L Wholesale Supply Inc., for the past 17 years, in outside sales for the company, which provides wholesale building products to many local contractors.
Watch the Journal for more information about official candidates for the board seats, as well as additional information on the candidates, their backgrounds and platforms.