Lifelong LaSalle resident to challenge incumbent for 3rd District seat
Robert Bilson, a resident of LaSalle, recently announced his candidacy for the 3rd District of the Niagara County Legislature. Bilson will challenge Mark J. Grozio (D-Niagara Falls), a three-term incumbent.
“For me, it starts with my roots in LaSalle. I am incredibly passionate about this community,” said Bilson. “Some of my favorite childhood memories are playing football with friends on the playground of 79th Street School and playing baseball at Jayne Park. Now I’m raising a family and showing my children the old fishing spots in Cayuga Creek. But with the nostalgic warm memories brings the harsh reality which helps fuel the decision to run for Niagara County Legislator.
“I want to keep my family here. I want to believe that LaSalle will be the safe, thriving community that I know it can be. Unfortunately, as the years pass us by, I see a community, that seems to be forgotten and treated as an afterthought. The lack of progress is upsetting and does not inspire confidence that LaSalle is maximizing its potential,” said Bilson.
Bilson’s concerns are a driver that made him throw his hat in the ring, as well as the absence of family-oriented activities and the lack of development along the waterfront.
“My love for LaSalle, my family and this community is too great to just sit by and wish for things to change,” said Bilson. “Every city that is booming has one thing in common; it’s a developed-vibrant waterfront that attracts businesses and families. We have an opportunity to spark real change for the better and I want to be a part of it.”
Currently employed as the senior director of negotiations at Strategic Financial Solutions, Bilson said he is no stranger to work ethic and leadership. In his current role, he oversees 100-plus team members and was tasked with leadership development throughout the company.
“One of the first lessons I learned in my career is that you can accomplish a lot more if you work collaboratively,” said Bilson. “Nowadays, politics has become toxic and divisive – a race to see who can bully their way to a win especially on social media. I am more interested in working together to fix the problems that plague our community. A legislator must be able to collaborate and negotiate with other legislators to resolve differences and reach agreements.”
“The work of legislators relies on meeting with, listening to and forming relationships with others. I will listen to and address the concerns that the residents of LaSalle have, and I will seek funding for projects and programs in my district that will positively affect them.”
Bilson added that another persistent problem seems to be politicians wasting the resources of Niagara Falls while ignoring the assets LaSalle brings to the small city.
“Buffalo Avenue has charm and should be envisioned like Center Street in Lewiston. Niagara Falls Boulevard is the economic heartbeat that connects everything,” said Bilson. “We need to invest in this area to bolster the entire city instead of emptying the pockets of every LaSalle taxpayer. While doing this we also have to ensure that we are providing the hardworking residents of LaSalle with safe neighborhoods, increased support for our schools and find ways to improve our quality of life.”
Bilson, along with his wife Nicole and their five children, reside in LaSalle.