Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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September 6, 2013

Lockport supervisor, board seats up

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The incumbents cite their accomplishments while the challengers question how they reached them.

Tuesday’s primary features two challenges on the Lockport Town Board, one for the supervisor post and one for a pair of board seats.

Supervisor Marc R. Smith will face a challenge on the Conservative line from auto shop owner David J. Mongielo. Republican voters will choose two Town Board members from incumbents Mark Crocker and Patricia Dufour and resident Paul Black.

Smith and Mongielo are certainly familiar with each other. Smith defeated Mongielo in a 2009 supervisor election and since then the two have had clashes at previous Town Board meetings. Mongielo is also dealing with legal challenges involving the electronic sign in front of his Robinson Road shop.

The endorsed Conservative candidate, Smith said the numbers speak for themselves. Ten years of balanced budgets, 85 new businesses, the addition of 323 jobs, three parks and all with no general town tax. That’s while dealing with increases in pensions and health insurance.

“I’m the best Conservative candidate,” Smith said.

An audit by the town’s accounting firm, Lumsden & McCormick, released over the summer, shows that as of Dec. 31, the town had more than $8.5 million in its fund balances, or more than two-thirds of the $12.6 million in total expenses the town incurred in 2012. The surplus grew by $1.3 million in 2012, after going up by about $300,000 in 2011.

“The Town Board works very hard,” Smith said. “We focus on keeping fees down... sales tax is a big source of revenue for the town.”

In Smith’s 10 years on the Town Board, the average household has seen $117 savings in town fees.

But, Mongielo has issues with both the surplus and the number of new businesses. Those new businesses include Yahoo, one of the companies that benefited from tax breaks from the town’s Industrial Development Agency, which Mongielo refers to as “corporate welfare.”

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