Niagara County Legislator Phillip "Russ" Rizzo announced today that he will be running for 1st Ward alderman in the City of North Tonawanda this November, saying he wanted to represent his neighbors once again in city government.
Rizzo has served as North Tonawanda's 1st Ward alderman and a Niagara County legislator for the past 10 years.
"I served my neighbors for the past 10 years, and I have much more I want to accomplish for the residents of our great city, and the 1st Ward" Rizzo said.
Current 1st Ward Alderman Dennis Pasiak announced last month that he would vacate the 1st Ward seat to pursue other interests.
Reflecting on his record of service to his neighbors, Rizzo stated, "I was able to secure hundreds of thousands of dollars for improvements at Gratwick-Riverside Park, and devoted hundreds of hours to assuring the clean-up of the contaminated Roblin Steel site and its redevelopment as a state-of-the-art commercial office park. And, of course, I voted for the reduction of the Niagara County Legislature from the current 19 members to 15, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars each year."
One of Rizzo's top priorities in both city and county government has been attaining a long-term solution for flooding in the Witmer Road area—a concern that prompted him to seek a term in county government.
"I am happy to say that, at last, we have a real solution for Witmer Road's flooding—a solution that required the cooperation of the City of North Tonawanda, the Town of Wheatfield and Niagara County," Rizzo said. "That was why I went to the County Legislature in the first place, and that's why I'm ready to return to city government."
Rizzo said that he believes he can now make a greater impact in city government, where fiscal pressures from the ongoing national recession have been particularly acute.
"Obviously, the issues of taxes are on the minds of all residents, and I will work diligently with Mayor Ortt, who has been extremely aggressive on solutions that are bringing spending under control and in turn attempting to reduce local taxes," Rizzo said. "Rob Ortt needs strong partners on the Common Council willing to stand up for our taxpayers, and I am ready and willing to be his strongest ally on that issue."
Rizzo will formally announce his candidacy for 1st Ward alderman on Tuesday, June 1, at 10 a.m. at 526 Witmer Road.