Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The two Village of Wilson trustees want to be mayor. Bernie Leiker, the deputy mayor for four years, has the endorsement of the Democratic Party and the Wilson Community Party. Jerry Kadryna, who has served as trustee for a year, is endorsed by the Republican Party, Independent and Taxpayers Party.
Village elections are March 19 at the Wilson Town Hall. The winner of the election will move up to mayor and appoint a successor for the trustee opening.
Leiker has been acting mayor since Mayor Pat Kelahan resigned the position at the end of July and moved to Newfane.
Leiker took over the top post in August overseeing the upgrades to the sewage treatment plant and bringing about improvements to sidewalks, cityscape and Wilson’s Krueger Park on Route 18, along the Seaway Trail.
Leiker has worked with the Wilson Fire Company No. 1 to reach a three-year agreement. He also launched a village communications newsletter that provides residents with village information, news and a calendar of monthly events.
The retired teacher and former Wiliamsville School District for 32 years administrator, Leiker has supported efforts to secure funding for the much needed dredging of the Wilson Harbor.
Leiker graduated Magnum Cum Laude from the University at Buffalo where he also received a master’s degree in English education. He has written grants on behalf of the village in an effort to partner with and support local businesses, impact areas of tourism and commerce and to improve and restore the village’s commercial district.
Leiker worked closely with the owners of the Woodcock Brothers Brewery to create a restaurant and brewery experience in the historic Cold Storage building on Lake Street.
Leiker, a Marine Corps veteran, serves as president of the Wilson Lions Club. He was key organizer for the Wilson Works effort and remains actively involved in the Wilson Business and Professional Association and “Watch Wilson Grow.”
“I am honored to be a public servant in the village community. My wife, Colleen and I love our hometown of Wilson and are committed to doing our part to further enrich the lives of our neighbors. She shares my enthusiasm for being part of a community-wide effort to make our village better for everyone,” Leiker said.
“I look forward to continuing to serve the residents of Wilson in the capacity of mayor,” Leiker stated, “I want the community to know that I will always act in the best interests of each and every person who lives here. We are in this together.”
Kadryna, who is married to Gail, has managed the Wilson IGA for 24 years. He ran for office for the first time last year.
“I want to make Wilson a better place,” he said. “I didn’t like what was going on with the previous mayor ... My feeling is that Wilson is a great place that has not reached its potential yet.”
Kadryna feels the business of the town should be transparent and he will work to get sewer rates in line.
“I’m working on getting habor dredged, getting new businesses coming to town and making sure the village is run right with no increase in taxes,” he said. “We need the harbor dredged ASAP. The summer trade won’t be good at all if we don’t get boaters up here.”
Kadrya, who was bumped off the GOP ticket after a protest by the Democratic Party, formed the Taxpayer Party in order to get on the ballot. He filed amended paperwork to the Niagara County Board of Election and got the Republican and Independent lines back.