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It’s my party, I’ll run if I want to: defining Springville’s political parties

SPRINGVILLE — Election season is underway in the village of Springville, with a field of five candidates running for two trustee seats and two candidates vying for the position of mayor. Now that the Feb. 11 petition filing deadline has passed, campaign season is in full swing, until the election takes place on March 18. This year, three parties have declared candidates for the available seats, each with their own platforms, goals and intentions. Below is a brief description of each party, as they have described themselves.

Revitalize Springville

Robert Moriarty and Samantha Skura are both running for trustee, on the Revitalize Springville platform.

Supporters of the revitalize platform “envision a community where you can live, work, shop and play, a healthy, family friendly community with a vibrant, dense downtown concentration of activity. The party says that local government should “play a proactive role in bringing about this vision as one piece of the overall solution.”

In order to do that, the revitalize platform wants government to “develop a plan that is current and utilized as a government-wide document that sets out a long-term vision for the community” and “evaluate performance of key village staff against their progress in meeting goals laid out in the plan.”

Revitalize Springville also pledges to use grant programs, tax abatements for rehabilitation projects, incentives to promote downtown development, multiuse buildings and an economic development coordinator to work toward discouraging sprawl and focusing on smart growth, within the village’s Master Plan. It wants to work toward increasing community wayfinding, better parking, linkage of green spaces and parks, a trail system and an open space plan.

It also wants to “develop positive initiatives for maintenance of historic properties and support for the Historic Preservation Commission” and develop a sustainability plan that includes green initiatives, code overhaul and “use of our municipal utility system to launch innovative energy self-sufficiency measures, support for local green initiatives such as green roofs or solar panels, protection of the water supply, local food use or other economically and environmentally beneficial practices.”

The Revitalize Springville party also pledges to recognize Springville as a community destination, improve government cooperation with business, civic and cultural organizations, support and promote events and take a proactive approach to better communicate, cooperate and promote recreation and feedback, within the community.

The full platform is available on the party’s website, at www.revitalizespringville.blogspot.com.

Citizen Voice Party

The Citizen Voice Party supports the re-election of Mayor Bill Krebs and Terry Skelton for trustee, as well as Bob Laskowski for trustee.

According to information from that party, “The Citizen Voice candidates believe that the service and infrastructure improvements provided by the village should bring added value to our neighborhoods.” The Citizen Voice Party believes that the current annual village budget “reflects the effective management and planning of these services and improvements.”

The Citizen Voice party intends to continue to launch gateway and streetscape improvements, citing the M&T Park upgrade, the Master Plan update project and the $325,000 Erie County Smart Growth Fund Grant as proof of improvements that are already in progress. The plan also calls for gateway improvements, creation of civic space and trail-town development.

That party also intends to work on distressed properties within the village limits, including managing tax liens, code enforcement and legal strategies, property assessment, land bank applications and community outreach and incentives, in an effort to retain or improve property values.

In addition, those candidates’ plans include long-term financial planning for public safety, water, waste water treatment, electric, streets and parks services, as well as outreach to town, county, state and private groups, to work on converting the Buffalo & Pittsburgh right-of-way in the village to a multiuse trail.

Finally, the party pledges to grow regional and economic partnerships, including those with the Regional Economic Development Council, ECIDA, CIDA, 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.

People’s Empowerment Party

Thomas Czechowski is running for mayor and Deborah McClellan is running for trustee with the newly formed People’s Empowerment Party. That group, according to a press release by the party, “holds as its core value returning the village to the people. For far too long, a very small group of small town political insiders have been running the village and taking it in a direction that is not backed or supported by the consensus of village residents.”

Representatives from the People’s Empowerment Party did not respond to requests for clarification, by press time.


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