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Niagara Co. Legislature retains leadership after voters return all incumbents


LOCKPORT—The top leaders of Niagara County's government will continue in their posts after last November's election saw the entire County Legislature returned and passed a budget that produced the lowest property tax rate in at least 38 years.

Tuesday night, County Clerk Joseph A. Jastrzemski administered the oath of office to the Legislature's 15 members, and then lawmakers set about the task of organizing a government for 2018.

It looks strikingly like the previous government, with Wm. Keith McNall, R-Lockport, continuing as chairman, Clyde L. Burmaster, R-Ransonville, continuing as vice chairman, Randy R. Bradt, R-North Tonawanda, beginning a new term as majority leader, and long-serving opposition head Dennis F. Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls, continuing as minority leader.

"The voters returned all 15 members of this Legislature, and that seems a good indication that they're satisfied with the direction of this government," McNall told colleagues. "It's always been good wisdom that people are policy, so we want to keep a team in place that has delivered results."
Legislature Clerk Mary Jo Tamburlin and County Attorney Claude A. Joerg were also appointed to new terms.

McNall announced the Legislature's committees would continue under their current leadership:

  • Administration will be chaired by Legislator Tony Nemi, R-Lockport.
  • Community Safety and Security will be chaired by Legislator David Godfrey, R-Wilson.
  • Economic Development will continue to be led by Legislator Kathryn L. Lance, R-Wheatfield.
  • Infrastructure and Facilities will be chaired by Legislator John Syracuse, R-Newfane.
  • Community Services will continue under the leadership of Legislator Rich Andres, R-North Tonawanda.
McNall will lay out a vision for the county government in two weeks when he delivers the annual State of the County address on Jan. 16.