Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

September 9, 2013

Newfane has three candidates for two spots

STAFF REPORTS
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — NEWFANE — Three people are running for the two seats up for grabs in Tuesday’s Republican primary for the Town Board.

Incumbent Robert A. Pettit, who has served the council for 12 years, seeks his fourth four-year term. Susan Neidlinger, the owner of Shoppe on Main Street and very active in civic affairs, is making her political debut. Rick Coleman, who works for Niagara County Water Department, is also seeking office for the first time.

Councilman Gordon Fletcher is not running for re-election, meaning at least one newcomer will make the cut.

Neidlinger, who opened her Shoppe on Main Street nine years ago, is also in management of the Longaberger Co. She is active in the Newfane tourism Industsry and the Zonta Club in Lockport.

She has several volunteer activities, including the holiday light up and parade; August Festival and Bike Night Friday and the Wednesday Concert at the Gazebo.

Neidlinger was president of the Newfane Business Association for six years and worked as Sunday School curriculum coordinator with the United Methodist Church for 25 years.

Neidlinger feels that if she has an official capacity with the town she can accomplish more and serve as a liaison among community endeavors.

“I would lke to connect dots with the school, churches, business associations, tourism committee, town festivals and town council,” she said.

Pettit, who ran his own business on Main Street for several years, calls himself semiretired. He drives a school bus for Ridge Road Express.

Pettit said he is proud of his work on the council, which includes improvements made at the marina in Olcott and the new town hall on Main Street. He noted that the town worked with fewer dollars in the budget in each of the last three years.

“In the future there will be a lot of financial pressures with health insurance and pension costs,” Pettit said. “There are a lot of things we have no control over — a lot of challenges and I’m ready for them. I have the experience, intellect, ambition and health.”

Coleman is the chief operator and lab director for the county water department on Williams Road.

A lifelong resident of Newfane, Coleman has been a member of Miller Hose Volunteer Fire Co. for 34 years. Coleman has served as a mentor for the Newfane High School Circuit Stompers robotics team for 13 years and has been a Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader.

He helped coordinate the fire prevention program and is a past leader of the Junior Firefighters for Miller Hose.

Coleman has always been interested in town government and has experience with budgets and personnel.

”I have a good prospective of both sides,” he said.