Councilman Gilbert Doucet has announced that he is a candidate for re-election to the Wheatfield Town Council.
Doucet has served on the board for 12 years and has received endorsements from the Republican, Independent and Conservative parties.
Doucet has worked to support the interests of town residents by focusing on many key issues that affect the overall quality of life in Wheatfield. As councilman, he fought to restore fiscal stability to the town by working to create and approve a responsible budget. He recently worked with Wheatfield Supervisor Bob Cliffe and North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ort to negotiate a drainage connection to a large outfall owned by the City of North Tonawanda to improve the town drainage system. He fought to remove large areas of the town from the FEMA flood plain maps. Doucet has worked to limit the overall growth of the town by increasing the minimum lot sizes, imposing and enforcing minimum depths of topsoil for newly constructed lots, and by requiring developers to do a full environmental impact studies in appropriate cases.
Doucet has been involved in recreation for more than 30 years, and he serves as a liaison to the Recreation Department. During his time as liaison, the Community Center and Youth Center/Gym were built and are now available for Wheatfield residents, land was purchased adjacent to the Town Hall with the vision of creating a Town Center and on River Road, to develop a park to give Town residents access to the Niagara River. A Farmers Market was established last fall, providing economic opportunities for local farmers and a source of fresh and healthy food for town residents. He also proudly supports the Town of Wheatfield Senior Citizens, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, and he assisted in implementing a hot lunch program. He also worked to adopt a policy to make certain town funds benefit Wheatfield seniors, and not outsiders.
Doucet was instrumental in developing a partnership with the YMCA to operate a summer day camp, with reduced rates for residents. This has not only given residents a quality summer camp at no cost to the town but has eliminated town payment of utility costs in the summer and generated revenue from the payment of rent for use of the center.
As chairman of the Safety Committee, Doucet was instrumental in instituting safety classes and training for town employees. As a result of these efforts, accidents involving town employees decreased, and the town achieved the added benefit of a rebate from its insurance carrier and reduced rates. He has also actively supported the use of a full-time deputy sheriff designated to the town and the use of constables in nightly community patrol and traffic control during special events to ensure the safety of residents, without having the expense of a full-time police force.
Doucet is a 35-year member of the St. Johnsburg Volunteer Fire Co., the St. Jude R.C. Church, the Volunteer Firemen's Benevolent Association, and the American Legion Wheatfield Post 1451 Sons of the Legion. Doucet has volunteered his time leading Cub Scouts, coaching youth baseball, youth hockey, and managing and coaching the Niagara-Wheatfield High School hockey club team. He has lived in his Ward Road home for 35 years with his wife Deborah and has raised four adult sons, Gilbert, Paul, Kevin and Jonathan.
"As a Wheatfield resident for 35 years and your councilman for 12 years, I know the importance of continuing our programs to reduce taxes, improve drainage, promote economic development, and most importantly, maintain government that is open, available and responsive to the needs of the residents and business owners," he said. "As your councilman, I will continue working with the programs I have promoted for the past 12 years, and I will support the tax objectives and economic opportunities in the town to insure a better quality of life for all Wheatfield residents."