Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

May 13, 2013

Five vying for seats in Newfane

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Three seats are up for election in Newfane, each with a three-year term. Incumbent Trustees Joe Flagler and Michele Malone are up for re-election, while Donna Lakes, James Schmitt and Margaux Lingle are also running.

Incumbent Frank Westgate has said he will not run for re-election due to personal reasons. He said he plans to run again sometime in the future.

To introduce the candidates to the public, Newfane Parents Teachers Students Association will be hosting a Meet the Candidates Night at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Newfane Elementary cafeteria on Transit Road. The public will be able to submit questions in writing at 6:30 p.m., then each candidate will be introduced and given five minutes to talk about themselves.

To help, here’s a very brief look at all five school board candidates.

Joe Flagler

Flagler, 49, is a lifelong Newfane resident. And he likes to be involved in the community.

A father of two kids, one of which graduated from Newfane in 2011, Flagler is completing his first three-year term on the school board. Prior to that, Flagler, a Niagara County Sheriff’s deputy, served as the district’s school resource officer for six full school years.

After two-and-a-half years, Flagler said he has a better grasp on how the district operates. It’s a big learning curve, he said.

”Now, I have a clear understanding,” Flagler said. “I feel I can really contribute with valued input.”

While on the board, Flagler was able to have the Army National Guard take down the old, dilapidated elementary school playground without any cost to the district. The debris was also removed free of charge by the town. 

When asked what’s the biggest challenge Newfane faces, Flagler answered with three words. “Money, money, money.” The district needs to be responsible financially, Flagler said, while maintaining the programs Newfane offers.

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