After taking a break from government service for five years, William E. Geiben has announced his intention to seek a Lewiston Town Council seat. He will look to secure the Republican, Conservative and Independent party lines.
Geiben most recently served as mayor of the Village of Lewiston. Previously, he was elected village trustee and Lewiston town councilman. He was appointed deputy supervisor.
His previously served the Town and Village of Lewiston as chairman of the joint Recreation Commission and as chairman of the town's Planning Board. Geiben said his dual government participation makes him uniquely experienced and qualified.
Geiben said he is returning to local politics because many Lewiston residents have encouraged him to get involved again. He said he could make a positive contribution toward resolving some town issues.
He recently found himself making suggestions on how to address some local matters.
"If you 'speak up,' it may be time to 'stand up' and serve," he said.
Geiben said he believes the most pressing issue facing Lewiston is financial stability. He said Lewiston residents deserve appropriated services and it is the responsibility of the Town Board to set a budget that can provide these services.
This will be a challenge, he suggested, as revenue from sales tax and tipping fees has been declining. To address this issue, Geiben said, the town must look to find new revenue sources such as grant money, and to appropriately utilize the New York Power Authority relicensing and Greenway funds.
He said there is confusion about Greenway funding, and it is essential these monies be utilized properly and effectively. Geiben noted it would be beneficial to publish a full report as to how much money has come to the town and how it has been allocated to town departments, special projects, shared with the village and benefitted residents through reduced water bills.
Geiben said the Town Board and department heads should prepare a multiple-year plan of financial requirements and needs. After public input, the planners should prioritize projects.
"Do your homework, anticipate and be prepared," Geiben said.
Geiben's community service is vast. He is a past member of the Kiwanis Club of Lewiston and board member for the American Red Cross, Niagara Falls Little Theater and the Lewiston-Porter Community Ambassador Program.
He is currently a member of the Friends of the Lewiston Library, Historical Association of Lewiston, Lewiston Council on the Arts and St. Peter's Holy Name Society.
Geiben serves the Town Board as an alternate to the Zoning Board.
He is a retired Lewiston-Porter social studies teacher. Geiben currently works part time as student teacher field supervisor at Niagara University, and as a house manager and in sponsor services at Artpark.
Geiben and his wife, Rita, have four grown children and five grandchildren.