By Bill Conrad
Hello, my name is Bill Conrad and I would like to formally announce my candidacy to run for re-election to the Lewiston Town Board. I was appointed to the Town Board early last year to fill a seat vacated by Ernie Palmer. Following that, I ran a successful campaign to finish the final year of that four-year term. Thanks to all of the support I received from the community, friends, neighbors and family, I won that election and am now serving out that final year.
I am running again, this time for a full four-year term. Over the past year and a half, I have worked hard at listening to everyone who has contacted me or stopped me on the street. I have tried to resolve the issues you have made me aware of with the help of my fellow board members, department heads, town staff and committee members.
That belief is one of the ideas that separate me from my opponents, which leads me to my next point. What some are claiming as "their" accomplishments are more accurately described as the accomplishments of the entire five-member board and our town team.
As a Town Board member, I am part of a team and a single vote. I alone do not make things happen, and I am humble enough to know that. It takes many people to make things happen in our town. I am a leader, a coordinator, a problem solver, a consensus builder and sometimes a motivator.
Fortunately, our Town Board has good chemistry, cooperation and communication. We don't always see things the same way, but we are able to discuss the facts and sometimes agree to disagree. It's not personal or political; it's five independent minds with differing opinions, experiences and views hashing it out in the democratic process.
As they say, there's no "I" in "Team."
I am also proud of what the board has accomplished since I have been a member. We have been successful in resolving the Joseph Davis State Park issues, reducing the town budget deficit, defending our environment against the CWM expansion, and the spreading of equate. Our board has also worked hard on mending relationships with the leadership in the village and Artpark, as well as our own department heads. We are in a much better place than we were last year and I am glad that I have had the opportunity to be a part of it.
Over this past year and a half, I have learned quite a bit from my fellow board members, town staff, department heads and residents throughout our great town. I feel confident that I am even more prepared than before to be a strong Town Board member and to keep moving our town in the right direction. I have supported the Town Board process, being as transparent and fiscally responsible as possible.
As always, I will remain accessible and responsive to your concerns. I hope to see you this summer as I walk door to door getting to know you as you get to know me.
My experience outside of Town Hall is fairly extensive, but well rounded. I am a licensed architect and retired U.S. Army officer who proudly served for 24 years. I am a former school board president, Niagara County Planning Board member, Rivershore Inc. board member, Orleans-Niagara BOCES Board of Education member, Zoning Board chairman, WNY Veterans Housing Coalition Board member, chairman of the Tower and Wind Energy Committee, Ransomville Free Methodist Church board member, ROTC instructor at Buffalo State College and Niagara University, and Leadership Niagara graduate.
Currently, I work in construction management for the Dormitory Authority. I have nearly 30 years of architectural design, planning and construction management experience. Of all the current members and those running for the board, I am the only candidate with professional experience in land planning, design and construction. I believe it's very important to have someone on every municipal board with this type of experience.
My wife, Lynne, and I have three biological children, four older adopted children and three foster children. We have been foster parents for over 15 years, caring for more than 135 children during that time. Motorcycle riding is my favorite pastime along with my new hobby, beekeeping.
This is our town - from the river along the village to the farm fields in Sanborn - and I couldn't ask for a more wonderful place to live and raise my family. Please help me to continue our good work as member of your Town Board. I would be very proud and thankful for your continued support in November.