By Michael DePietro
During the North Tonawanda Common Council’s annual reorganization meeting on Monday, the council voted unanimously to name Alderman-at-Large Robert Pecoraro as its new president.
Pecoraro, a retired Air Force colonel who has served on the council since 2015, was nominated for the position by outgoing Council President Erik Zadzilka.
“Bob has proven himself over the last several years as being focused on a lot of the change and solutions we need to put forward. I think he’s an excellent choice this year for leadership,” Zadzilka said.
Pecoraro thanked the council members for their support and praised Zadzilka for the work he had done during his time as president.
“I’d like to thank my colleagues on the Common Council, for their trust and confidence in me,” Pecoraro said. “I want to build up the great strides that were taken by (Zadzilka). Your leadership this past four years has been tremendous.”
Pecoraro went on to highlight some of the milestones and achievements the city made during Zadzilka’s tenure.
“Of note, in 2019 North Tonawanda was designated as the best place in New York state to live on an annual salary of $50,000 by a financial investment firm that ranked U.S. cities to see (how far) an annual $50,000 salary would go,” Pecoraro said. “Another independent ranking dealt with security, and because of (Zadzilka’s) leadership, North Tonawanda has been named as the 68th safest community out of 2,900 cities with populations over 10,000.”
He also named the city’s anti-bullying law and the restoration of the North Tonawanda Botanical Garden as successes under Zadzilka’s term.
Mayor Arthur Pappas also congratulated Zadzilka for his efforts as president and said he looked forward to seeing that progress continue as he works alongside Pecoraro.
“We’re going to continue that (progress) under the leadership of Bob Pecoraro, because he also is a true leader and is not afraid to take the bull by the horns and move forward,” Pappas said.
Pecoraro concluded with a statement spotlighting his goal to navigate the city through the difficulties created by the pandemic.
“As your new council president, my top priority will be to offer our city’s government steadfast leadership during these unbelievably challenging times,” he said. “These are difficult times and they will rage on, and our residents need to know the city government is in capable hands. No matter what the new year presents, I will continue to address the needs of our community diligently, efficiently and effectively. In closing, I pray the new year is filled with happiness and health for all the residents and all the members of the Common Council and leadership of our great city.”
During the following night’s Common Council meeting, a number of other city appointments were also confirmed. The list of reappointments included Joseph Midura as the city historian, Jacob Haacker to the Zoning Board of Appeals, Jeffrey Licht and Benjamin Meyer to the North Tonawanda Waterfront Commission, Frank Grandinetti to the North Tonawanda Plumbing Board, Mark Lemke and Mark Anastasi to the Traffic Safety Committee, Nathan Sikora as bingo commissioner for North Tonawanda and Dale Rogers as the North Tonawanda market clerk. Kenneth Brennan was reappointed while Beverly Loxterman was appointed to the Planning Commission. Albena Tueker-Pasiak was appointed to the Board of Assessment review committee.