NEWFANE —Two town council seats are up for election, and voters will have to chose between two incumbents seeking reelection and a political newcomer looking to become the sole democratic member of the council. 

Incumbents Troy Barnes and Laura Rutland are looking to continue serving their community on the town council and Vivianne Singer Szulist is looking to become the sole Democrat on the council and introduce a different opinion. 

Barnes, 33, has served on the town council for one term, and believes his professional background in architecture and engineering as well as his youth allows him to provide a unique opinion. 

He said he would like to continue serving on the board to make the community a better place.  

Barnes credited his work with the board and the supervisor in obtaining the funds to help fix some of the damage the rising lake levels on Lake Ontario has caused the town. 

He said if he is granted a second term he would like to look into the zoning and planning codes. 

"I’d say in the recent months that we’ve seen a lot of issues and complaints having to do with zoning and planning. I think down the line in the future those codes are something we’re going to look into, and kind of bring them up to date. So, we don’t face some of these problems we have," Barnes said.  

Laura Rutland, 58, said she ran for the town board initially to give input on projects in the town. 

"I just have a love for our community," she said. 

She credited her work running the Lake View Village shops, serving on the fire board and running Olcott Beach since the town took it over five years ago. 

Rutland also said she has helped Town Supervisor Tim Horanburg with the building of the new town hall on Main Street.

She would like to continue serving because there is a couple of projects she would like to see finished. One example she pointed to was a grant to get a Olcott Beach Gateway sign that the town has applied for. 

Vivianne Singer Szulist, 59, is running to become the sole Democrat on the Newfane Town Council because she believes some diversity of party is needed.  

"I think in the times we're living in we need more balance. Not that I'm super affiliated to the democratic party as such, I do feel we need a diversity of voices," Singer Szulist said. 

She said one issue she would like to tackle is increasing transparency of decision making, saying it's important residents see where their taxes are being spent.  

Singer Szulist, who co-owns Singer Farm Naturals with her husband Tom, said she brings her experience in agricultural tourism.

Troy Barnes 

Age: 33

Occupation: Architectural Designer and Engineer in Training at Lauer-Manguso & Associates Architects 

Ballot lines: Republican, Conservative and Independence 


Laura Rutland 

Age: 58

Occupation: Retired nurse from Newfane Memorial Hospital

Ballot lines: Republican, Conservative and Independence


Vivianne Singer Szulist 

Age: 59

Occupation: Owner of Singer Farm Naturals 

Ballot lines: Democrat 

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