Bob Mesmer is running for Grand Island Town Justice. He said he’s doing it his way: running on the Working Families Party line, going door to door on his bicycle (he’s knocked on 6,525 residential doors to date with 500 to go) and running a self-funded campaign.
Admitting he made some mistakes in last June’s primary. Mesmer notes, “I sent my literature out to the public a couple of months too early while my opponent sent his out a couple of days before the election. I won the Working Families Party line and I’m determined to win this race on that line in November.”
Roger Cook, a member of the WNY Chapter’s Working Families Party executive committee, says that candidates have won on only the party’s line. “In 2003, Letitia James, running for New York City Council in the Brooklyn area on the Working Families line, beat her Democratic Party opponent by a wide margin. Like Bob, she ran a spirited campaign and won; she held her seat for 10 years. Last year she won her election for New York State Attorney General,” Cook said.
Mesmer says he’s uniquely qualified to serve as Grand Island’s Town Justice. “I’m not a lawyer, but 62% of our state’s town justices aren’t lawyers either,” he said. “I know and care about our community – I’ve lived here all my life and raised my family here – and if elected, I will use common sense, good judgment and fairness when deciding cases.”
He feels that his 47-year experience as a self-employed businessman and his 14-year volunteer service on the Zoning Board of Appeals has given him the temperament needed to be a good justice. “As a businessman, I’ve dealt with people from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life. As a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, I’ve worked hard to find amicable solutions to what can be difficult and contentious situations,” he said. “You have to be firm, but flexible.”
As town justice, Mesmer believes it’s his responsibility to apply the law to the facts and to understand how his decisions will affect those appearing before the court. “There will be a variety of cases that will come before me.” Mesmer said. “In those cases, I will look to hold offenders accountable, understanding that compassion can still be part of the judgment.
“If someone is charged with a more serious crime, it will be my responsibility to arraign that individual. I know I must have the willingness to do what the law requires. The protection of our community is my main concern. I would support existing diversion programs, as well as the use of other innovative programs to provide the help that many of these individuals need to change their behaviors,” Mesmer said.
“I am asking for your vote on election day, Nov. 5, on the Working Families Party line, row D,” Mesmer said. “Please support my running mates, Jim Sharpe, Town Supervisor, Jenn Pusatier and Bev Kinney, council, George Hauss, town clerk, and Kevin Hardwick for legislator. You will find them on the Working Families Party line as well.”
(There is early voting, that starts on Oct. 26 to Nov. 3, at the Town Hall, weekdays, noon to 9 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m.)