William L. Ross has announced his candidacy for re-election to the Niagara County Legislature for the new 2nd Legislative District, which includes portions of the towns of Wheatfield and Lewiston.
Ross is the endorsed Republican, Conservative and Independence candidate.
Ross retired from the Niagara-Wheatfield School District in 2003 after a career of 47 years as a teacher, coach and administrator. He is a life-long resident of Niagara County and received his scholastic education in the Niagara Falls City School District, where he was a 1951 graduate of the old LaSalle Senior High School on Buffalo Avenue.
Ross attended Michigan State University on a football scholarship where he played and lettered on a national championship team in 1952, Big Ten Champion in 1953 and in the 1954 Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, Calif. Ross graduated from M.S.U. in June 1955 and entered military service as an Army R.O.T.C. officer. He completed his military service, entered active army reserve status and began his long education career with the new N-W School District.
Ross has served in local elected government for the past 28 years as a Town of Niagara councilman, Town of Wheatfield councilman and nine terms as a county legislator. He has been the chairman of the Niagara County Legislature for a total of eight years (1989, 2004-06 and 2008-11).
Ross always considers his first priority the residents of his legislative district. He plans to continue to work toward the goal of helping to provide eligible town residents with available county services. These services include health, social services, senior citizen, recreation and youth activities. He says county public safety and public works provide services that are important for the well being of residents. Public safety is provided by the sheriff patrol cars in the neighborhoods and the public works strive to make county roads and bridges safe for easy transit. These county services are monitored and pursued by Ross for residents of his legislative district.
An extremely important economic engine in Niagara County is the Niagara Falls International Airport. The new air terminal with its great increase in passenger service along with a strong new interest in shovel ready economic development sites adjacent to the airport is a great asset. The northern part of the 300-acre airport complex contains the 914th and the 107th military units. The military units have become the county's No. 1 employer and its No. 1 payroll. The Niagara County Legislature, along with total support of local state and congressional leaders, has worked diligently to retain this very important economic catalyst. This is a No. 1 priority, Ross said.
Ross is also the chairman of the Niagara Power Coalition, which negotiated in 2005 the 50 year-agreement with the New York Power Authority in regards to the Niagara Power Project. The long-term agreement provides community funds, Greenway money and 25 megawatts of power to seven Niagara County communities physically impacted by the Niagara Power Project. Ross says the New York Power Authority owes the Niagara community more because of the great amount of money generated by hydropower at the Niagara Power Project. Ross submitted the "Niagara Initiative" to the NYPA administration, which contains millions of dollars for economic development projects in Niagara County. It is still under review by NYPA and a state governor's committee.
Ross is a Niagara County Community College board of trustee member and a staunch supporter of this "Jewel of Niagara." It provides new high school graduates and older non-traditional students the opportunity for post high school education at a very reasonable tuition cost. NCCC has been providing economic opportunities for Niagara County residents for the past 49 years.
Ross' county government leadership has led to less spending, and merging, consolidation and elimination of departments, which has resulted to a more streamlined county workforce. The Niagara County workforce was more than 1,800 in 2003, and today it is 1,470.
Ross has been an active member of many civic, professional and service organizations. He is a member and past president of the Town of Niagara Lion's Club, Town of Wheatfield Lions Club, Niagara County Rotary Club, Mount St. Mary's board of associates, Leadership Niagara, and the New York State Athletic Administrators Association. He is also currently a member of the Niagara Military Affairs Council, a lifetime member of the Reserve Officer's Association and a member of the Niagara County Community College Foundation.
Ross is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve with 28 years of active and reserve service.
Ross resides on Walmore Road in the Town of Wheatfield with his wife, Linda. They have five grown children and nine grandchildren.
- Submitted by Bill Ross