Common Council President Eric Zadzilka seeked re-election from voters to allow him to continue several high-profile efforts in the city that have “made North Tonawanda an even better place to raise a family and make it their home,” he announced Monday morning.
He also vowed to “fight to keep our neighborhoods safe and clean, maintain and sustain our infrastructure for our families and especially for NT’s children.”
Zadzilka, who represents the Third Ward in city government, succeeded the late Alderman Russ Rizzo two years ago as council president – a role where he has helped set the city’s agenda.
“For several years in a row on this Council, we maintained or minimally raised taxes, and as the leader of the Council, we strive for the best city services for the taxpayers’ dollars,” Zadzilka said.
He noted that city policies under Mayor Arthur G. Pappas and his predecessor, Rob Ortt, were strongly pro-economic growth, and that projects initiated when he first entered office eight years ago are consistently bearing fruit.
“Our city government has, over the last several years, made a concerted push for economic development and invested deeply in our city infrastructure,” Zadzilka said. “There has been a real resurgence of business downtown. We also helped bring about progress at Buffalo Bolt with the Armstrong Pumps vacant property they purchased a while ago with talks now to take action this year on an $18 million expansion project there, as well as expansion of Platter’s Chocolates in the city’s Third Ward, and recently Woodcock Brothers Brewing and Beer Gardens, which represents positive new economic growth and jobs for our city.”
Zadzilka noted that he has also been a strong proponent of a planned new 72-unit residential development on River Road.
“The River Road development is a major accomplishment that should bring young, engaging people close to our downtown,” Zadzilka said. “We are working to make sure that the reinvigorated NT we’ve seen the last few years continues to prosper, and can continue to be a good place for families to live.”
Infrastructure improvements, including updates to the wastewater treatment and water distribution plants have also been a priority for Zadzilka since he entered office, he said.
Zadzilka also vowed that long-running city efforts could reach a successful conclusion this year.
“I’m committed – our city government is committed – to finishing the projects of yesterday,” he said. “ I continue year after year to focus on what NT taxpayers really want and need – solid results.”
Zadzilka, a professional lead technician and optician at an ophthamological practice, in addition to his role administering city government, admitted that City Hall policies are just part of that effort, however, and community-oriented efforts have been equally important.
“NT is a city of volunteers, and I’m glad to work with so many great neighbors and to volunteer myself,” Zadzilka, said. “In particular, I’m proud of what we’ve done right in my own Third Ward neighborhood with the city’s Botanical Gardens. We’ve made an effort to restore, maintain and sustain a long-neglected city park at Sweeney and Old Falls streets, including securing a new gazebo and grants for improvements for park visitors to enjoy.”
Zadzilka praised neighbors who have worked alongside him planting, mulching, and cleaning the park. To make change and progress happen, Zadzilka organized the NTBGO committee of local residents which is now a 501(C) 3.
“The best part is our community did that. We continue to work with the city and NT Parks Department at the Botanical Gardens, restoring them, and we did it without costing the city taxpayers money,” Zadzilka said. “I’m just glad I got to be one of the guys out there with a rake, watching my own community show so much pride. I believe you should serve in order to take a lead, firm in manner and strong indeed.”
Zadzilka added to supporters that he would continue to pay close attention to environmental concerns.
“Our homeowners deserve strong property values. Our families deserve to see their kids grow up safe and healthy,” Zadzilka said. “Our city has experienced unprecedented growth and a housing boom the last few years attracting families to our schools and our community.”
The former security guard and martial arts instructor added he promises to continue focusing on preserving a strong public safety infrastructure in the city.
“Our police, our neighborhood watches, our merchants all need to continue working together to keep our neighborhoods safe,” Zadzilka said. “NT is a safe city, and we’re going to keep it that way.”
Zadzilka lives in the Wurlitzer Park neighborhood and has two sons, Brandon and Jared.