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Candidates begin 2011 election campaigns

by jmaloni
Tue, May 31st 2011 01:00 pm

With the petition process approaching, candidates seeking office in Niagara County have entered the early stages of the 2011 election season.

In this week's Sentinel, incumbent office holders, Porter Town Councilman Jeff Baker, Porter Highway Superintendent Scott B. Hillman and Niagara County Legislator Clyde L. Burmaster, announce their plans for re-election and submit the following profiles.

Other profiles are expected to appear in the Sentinel in coming weeks.

Jeff Baker

I have served the Town of Porter as councilman for the past seven and one-half years. During my tenure on the board, we have maintained the low tax rate the residents deserve. We are always looking for ways to save the taxpayers money, and at the same time provide the best possible service to our community.

I have worked with the master plan committee, the agricultural and rezoning committees, and I was a member of the zoning board for seven years and vice chairman for six years. I have been a member of the Ransomville Volunteer Fire Co. for 30 years and was awarded Fireman of the Year by the fire district in 1996.

In 1985, I was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps. I am also a member of the Conrad Kania Marine Corps Detachment.

In 1999 I was instrumental in re-establishing the Ransomville Business and Professional Association and currently serve as president. Over the years with the RB&PA, we have held fundraisers enabling us to purchase "Welcome to Ransomville" signs and seasonal banners. I have also chaired and co-chaired several very successful benefits for local residents.

I am a board member on the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce and am also a member of the 3-F Conservation Club in Lewiston where I enjoy skeet shooting.

I am a lifelong resident of Ransomville and dedicated to my community. I have been married to my wife Gloria for six years and between us we have three children: Amber, Alec and Ryan (wife, Jillian). We are the grandparents of two children, Hunter, age 2 1/2, and Parker, age 1 1/2.

Since the town's purchase of Porter on the Lake Park, both of us have spent hours trying to improve the park without creating a tax burden. My wife Gloria and I serve as co-chairs of the Porter on the Lake Committee along with Porter Councilman Larry White and his wife. Working with park volunteers, we have been successful in organizing Porter on the Lake Park events, which have raised significant revenue to improve and maintain the park.

I have enjoyed serving the town and look forward to continue service. I would appreciate your vote this November.

Scott B. Hillman

Today, I am announcing that I will be seeking re-election to the office of superintendent of highways for the Town of Porter in this year's election. I have held that post since being appointed to it in 1996 by the Town Board. As superintendent, I have tried to constantly make improvements to the services provided by the department. It is extremely important to me that the residents receive these services in a timely and cost effective manner.

I have had the good fortune to interact with the residents of the town and have strived to meet the needs of the community.

I have had the benefit of working with a cooperative Town Board that understands the funding needs to continue to provide these services. Additionally, the employees in the department are committed to the same goal and work tirelessly to provide the necessary services to the residents of the town.

I look forward to continuing to serve the residents of the Town of Porter in the future.

Clyde L. Burmaster

Today, I am announcing my re-election to the Niagara County Legislature.

I was first elected to the Niagara County Legislature in 1993. During the 1998 and 1999 legislative sessions, I served as vice chairman of the Legislature. I am the present vice chair. I was elected by my peers as chair of the Legislature for 2000-01 and again in 2007. I have served for 18 consecutive years.

Legislature activities include: chair of Public Works, 1998-99 and from 2004-2011; chair of the Refuse Disposal Administrative Board, 1998-99 and 2004-05; and as past member of the Health Committee; Commerce, Tourism, Agriculture and Parks, and past chair of the Community Safety and Security committees.

My other activities include: serving as co-chair of the Niagara-Erie County Coalition; past chair of the board of directors for the Niagara Community Action Program; past president of the Ransomville Free Library; president of the North Ridge Cemetery Association; past chairman of the Ransomville United Methodist Church; and past president and exempt member of the Ransomville Volunteer Fire Co.

I am also a member of the New York State Association of Counties Native American Affairs Committee and member of the Niagara County Leadership Committee. In addition, I am current commander of the O. Leo Curtiss American Legion Post 830 and president of the Niagara Tobacco Asset Corp.

Further community service includes active membership in: Ransomville Volunteer Fire Co. exempts; Old Fort Niagara Association; Ransomville Methodist Church and Loyal Order of the Moose, Lewiston.

I am retired with 32 years of service as director of investigations for an international firm specializing in private investigations. I am also a Vietnam-era veteran, serving as U.S. Army infantry sergeant.

I look forward to continuing my service to area residents as a member of the County Legislature in the future and respectfully ask for your support.

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