Cites power programs, parks funding, economic development as victories
Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, announced Thursday his candidacy for re-election in the newly drawn 145th District. Ceretto, who took office 18 months ago, pledged to continue his efforts to transform state government, help rebuild Western New York's economy and create jobs.
"When I took office less than two years ago, New York state was on the verge of fiscal collapse. Fortunately, New Yorkers have seen a dramatic turnaround in Albany," Ceretto said. "By working in a bipartisan manner and putting people ahead of politics, my legislative colleagues and I have teamed up with Governor Cuomo to pass two consecutive on-time budgets that reduced the state's deficit by over $13 billion while passing the largest middle-class tax cut in 58 years, and have passed significant legislation such as the 2 percent cap on property taxes, SUNY2020, and Recharge NY in an effort to make Western New York a more affordable and attractive place for families and job creators."
Ceretto has also led the fight to ensure that the low-cost power produced at the New York Power Authority's Niagara Power Project in Western New York is better utilized to lower energy rates for local families and businesses and make certain that the region's resources are used to promote job growth throughout the area.
To date, he has helped pass the "Power Proceeds" legislation, creating the WNY Power Allocation Board, which keeps more than $10 million in unallocated, low-cost power in Western New York for economic development every year. Ceretto also led efforts to pass Power NY and ReCharge NY to provide reliable, low-cost power to companies dedicated to job creation and economic development.
"Western New York's economy is tied closely to the energy we produce locally," Ceretto said. "By having more control and input on how this power is used and through better utilization of our region's low-cost power, we can become a leader in the high-tech manufacturing sector and create long-term and steady employment opportunities for generations of Western New Yorkers."
Ceretto has also helped to preserve and protect Western New York's natural beauty. In 2012, he helped secure $25 million in capital improvements for Niagara Falls State Park.
"Niagara Falls State Park is an essential resource for our area," Ceretto said. "This park is a destination for millions of tourists every year. These capital improvements can help fill our hotels, restaurants and our growing airport with tourists and visitors, capturing those all-important tourist dollars to reinvest back into the local economy."
Ceretto also sponsored legislation to allow Nik Wallenda to traverse the Niagara Gorge this past June. Ceretto has been credited with being one of the driving forces for this internationally acclaimed event, which was broadcast live on ABC, bringing in millions of viewers across the country, putting Niagara Falls back in the international conversation as a world-class tourist destination.
"Nik Wallenda has been and will continue to be a tremendous ambassador for our area," Ceretto said. "My legislation paved the way for Niagara Falls to be front and center on millions of TV screens and newspapers across the world. We are already seeing increased interest in Niagara Falls, New York - across the board - through recent hotel and restaurant inquires."
Other noteworthy projects and issues that Ceretto has made a priority in his short tenure in the State Assembly include:
•Expanding the USA Niagara Development Corp. economic development footprint in downtown Niagara Falls;
•Uniting Niagara County local governments, business and labor interests in pursuit of having a Niagara County resident on the NYPA board of trustees;
•Convening an active working group of city, county and state officials to examine ways to redevelop the Lehigh Valley Rail Yard;
•Passing the 2 percent property-tax cap to bring needed property-tax relief to local residents;
•Teaming up with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative colleagues to pass legislation that freezes the local share of Medicaid's growth rate at 2 percent, putting it in line with the cap on property taxes that passed in 2011. This proposal will save local governments and taxpayers more than $370 million during the next three years;
•Passing the largest middle-class tax cut in 58 years;
•Helping to secure the appointment of Renee Kimble to the Niagara Falls Public Water Board;
•Ensuring that Western New York received its fair share of regional economic development resources. Western New York won the top award of more than $100 million, with significant resources going to the 138th Assembly District, including crucial funding for the Niagara Falls International Airport.
"We have finally begun to reverse the stunning dysfunction and incompetence in Albany and have laid the groundwork for a more affordable and prosperous New York," Ceretto said. "I look forward to continuing the work I have been doing on behalf of Western New York families and businesses. I believe that, by continuing to work in a bipartisan manner and putting results before rhetoric, we can continue to make important strides in transforming our state. That is the message I've taken out on the campaign trail and to the already 3,000 homes I've visited since April. The tide has changed, but the work is not done yet and that is why I am running for re-election."
Ceretto's campaign has already seen a wide range of support with endorsements from state Sen. George Maziarz, 2010 Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino, Laborers Local 91, the New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association, the New York State Independence Party and the Niagara County Republican Committee.
The newly formed 145th Assembly District is made up of the towns of Cambria, Lewiston, Niagara and Wheatfield; the City of Niagara Falls; a portion of the City of North Tonawanda in Niagara County; and the Town of Grand Island in Erie County.