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Town of Grand Island - Election 2019
All content on this page has been submitted by the candidates or their representatives.



Primary Election Results



Bob Mesmer, Town Justice Candidate - October 2019

From left: Bob Mesmer, Town Justice candidate, and Roger Cook, WNY Working Famiies Party, Executive Board member

    Bob Mesmer is running for Grand Island Town Justice. He says 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 ten years. Last year she won her election for NY 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 says. “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 judgement 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 says. “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 stated.
    “I am asking for your vote on Election day, Nov 5th on the Working Families Party line, ROW D”, Please support my running mates, Jim Sharpe, Town Supervisor, Jenn Pusatier & 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 – Nov. 3rd. at the Town Hall, weekdays, Noon-9 pm and weekends Noon to 6 pm”)


Jim Sharpe Announces Town Supervisor Candidacy - October 2019


   As many of you already know, I am Jim Sharpe, Deputy Supervisor for the Town of Grand Island, and I am a candidate for Supervisor in the upcoming November election. This serves as my formal announcement.
    I am very proud to be a long-time resident of Grand Island and a US Air Force Veteran. I’ve had the privilege to serve our community for over 50 years, demonstrating active involvement in many local organizations, committees, and projects. Some of my many examples of leadership include serving as the past President of the Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Master Plan Committee, Chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee, Town Councilman for 8 years, and most recently, serving as Deputy Supervisor showing my dedication and commitment to keeping our community focused on our future.
    I’m running for Town Supervisor because I am excited about all of the wonderful things that I’ve had the privilege to help bring to Grand Island, such as the West River Multi-purpose Trail, the new Holiday Inn Express, the NYS Welcome Center, Traffic signals on Whitehaven Overpass, the Farmer’s Market, elimination of Toll Booths, the installation of Sidewalks & Lighting in the center of town, Solar parks providing clean energy to GI residents, the updating of the Town’s Comprehensive and Coastal Plans, the Ag & Market Plan, a Walking Trail and the renovation of the Community Center at the Nike Base, a trail system through Scenic Woods, DeGlopper Park renovations, and the soon to be started construction of an Elevator in the Town Hall. Most of these projects, I’m proud to say, were at reduced cost for our Town and were funded with the help of statewide funds and by grants that I helped to secure. I want to keep working to improve our community and I hope you can help me do that.
    The things that are important to me are accessibility and transparency as your next Supervisor. This will be my only job and I will have an open door policy, accessible to you as your elected official. I am a firm believer of building consensus and working as a team in order to make the decisions necessary to move our town in a positive direction. I believe in helping residents fairly and justly resolve disputes in a way that can be respectful. Improving Grand Island businesses and responsible growth are of utmost importance to me as evidenced by my work on the Comprehensive Master Plan. Supporting clean energy, farming in our community, eco-tourism and protecting our Island’s resources are all near and dear to my heart. Lastly, fiscal responsibility and staying below the tax cap is something that is just as important to me as it is to you as a resident.
    As your elected Supervisor, you can trust that I will provide the Experience, Dedication and Proven Leadership that our town deserves in order to help our community keep moving forward. I am asking for your vote on Tuesday, November 5th.


Thomas Digati Announces Town Council Candidacy - October 2019


   I hope that this announcement is old news to many of you as the general election is less than a month away (November 5, with early voting beginning on October 26). Nevertheless, it is with great pride and excitement that I make this announcement that I am a candidate for our Town Council this year. I am honored to have this opportunity to represent the citizens of our amazing community. Over the past few years, there has been evidence of a divide in our community and I hope to be part of the change that brings us back together. I will work diligently to place our community, and nothing else, first.
    My family moved to Grand Island from the City of Buffalo when I was entering 1st grade so that my three younger brothers and I would have an excellent education. I graduated from Grand Island High School in 2003. In 2008 I graduated from Buffalo State College and then entered law school at the University at Buffalo that fall. In 2011, I graduated from law school and married my wife, Ashley, who graduated from Grand Island with me.
   When we married in 2011, we were living in the Town of Tonawanda. In late 2014, we were planning to start a family and we knew that it was time to move back to Grand Island. I was working at a law firm downtown and Ashley was working as a special education teacher at Hamburg High School. Despite the travel considerations, especially for Ashley who has to be in Hamburg by 7:20 every morning, we never considered moving anywhere else to raise our family. We both loved growing up on Grand Island. So, in January 2015, we moved down the street from Ashley’s childhood home and welcomed our first son, Angelo, to Grand Island in January 2016. In late July construction of our new home was completed and we moved in just three weeks before we had our second son, Marco.
   I provide this background to explain why I decided to run for Town Board: I am doing this because I love this community and I want to do everything I can to ensure it is the best it can be. I want my children and all of our residents to love this community and be as proud of it as I am.
    Our Town is unique: we have plentiful greenspace, wonderful schools, and affordable taxes. We have farms, solar farms, large industrial complexes, and an amusement park. Best of all, we have residents that are proud to live here and are extremely involved in the community. Our residents are dedicated to the preservation of the lifestyle that brought them here and committed to making this Town better. I decided to run for Town Council to do my part to help preserve the things we love and improve on the things we do not.
   I believe that my dedication to our community, and my professional experience, provide me with the skills necessary to be an effective leader in our community, especially given the current atmosphere on the Town Council. As an attorney, I have spent the last 7 years constantly engaged in negotiations trying to find common ground and, when necessary, taking a stand and trying a case.
   As your Councilman, I will exercise fiscal conservancy and responsibility, doing all I can to limit the tax burden on our residents. At the same time, I will seek input from the community to identify ways we can make our community more enjoyable. If elected, I will always put the citizens and taxpayers first because that is what elected officials are elected to do. They are elected to represent the residents, not political parties, special interest groups, or personal agendas. I will always be accessible and available to the residents and willing to hear their ideas and concerns. But, I will do more than that: I will actively seek input and feedback from residents so that I can make informed and knowledgeable decisions that I believe are in the best interest of our community. I will also be transparent with the reasons for any decisions I make.
    In closing, I will work tirelessly to make sure that Grand Island remains an amazing place to live, work, and raise a family. I will put the community above all else and I will be transparent with and accountable for my decisions. I hope that you will consider me when you cast your vote for Town Council on Tuesday, November 5th. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me: tdigati@gmail.com, Facebook: @Digati4GI.
Sincerely, Tom Digati


Pattie Frentzel Announces Candidacy - October 2019


   Patricia “Pattie” Frentzel has announced her candidacy for re-election for the office of Town Clerk. Pattie has proudly served Grand Island as your full-time working Town Clerk since January 2004. During her tenure many changes and improvements have been made to the services provided to the residents of Grand Island.
   Pattie is highly regarded for providing excellent customer service to our residents. She and her staff are fully cross-trained in all aspects of daily operations and procedures. She has turned the Town Board Meeting preparation process into an almost completely paperless system. She and Town grant writers have obtained over $220,000 in grant money during her tenure. Many of these funds were used to ensure transparency and efficiency of the record keeping segment of the Clerk’s office, which remains a high priority to Pattie.
   Pattie’s office is one of the few town clerk offices in Erie County authorized as a “passport acceptance agency” by the United State Department of State. Since 2006, Pattie’s office has processed over 5,600 applications and 5,500 sets of photographs for US Passports, generating revenues of over $200,000 for our Town. In 2014, to better assist our residents, Pattie sought and was approved to be an EZ PASS Retailer and has issued over 1400 Island commuter tags to our residents, and continues to work closely with NYS to provide minor dispute resolution. She has improved the Town’s website - giving residents and employees 24-hour accessibility and transparency to the Clerk’s office. Pattie added “e-gov” forms for requests for information and copies of public documents and provided highly sought-after on-line tax payments and receipts.
   In addition to serving as clerk to the Town Board, The Clerk’s office oversees the dog licensing program and serves as the Records Management Officer for the Town. Information regarding Town services, maps, voting and simple general questions are available through her office. She and her deputies collect fees from water/sewer rents, building permits, hunting and fishing licenses and Town/County and School taxes. Also, the Town Clerk serves as Registrar of Vital Statistics and records all the birth, death and marriages on Grand Island.
   Pattie is professionally linked in with the community. Pattie has conducted Voter Registration for graduating seniors at GIHS, and has been invited as a Guest Lecturer on Town government at Grand Island High School. She is NYS Registered Municipal Clerk and has held Executive Offices in the Erie County Town Clerk’s Association - Past Treasurer, Erie County Tax Receivers and Collectors - Past President, Past Vice-President, and the NYS Tax Receivers and Collectors Association - Board Member. Pattie also volunteers at St. Stephen’s Church for various functions throughout the year and is a Trustee for the Grand Island VFW Auxiliary.
   Pattie has been honored with the Woman of Distinction recognition from the Erie County Federation of Republican Women last year as well as a recipient of the Yellow Rose Award from Zonta Club for leadership and service to the community. She looks forward to serving another term as Town Clerk. You can find out more about Pattie on Facebook @GITOWNCLERK or https://www.frentzel4townclerk.com.


Thomas Digati Fundraiser Planned - September 2019


    A fundraiser for Thomas Digati will be held on Wednesday, September 18th from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at the Mallwitz's Island Lanes, Whitehaven Road. Tickets are $25 per person, $40 per couple, or $50 per family. Thomas is running for Grand Island Town Council. See flyer.


Jenn Pusatier Fundraiser Planned - September 2019


    A fundraiser for Jenn Pusatier will be held on Friday, September 13th from 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at the Grand Island Rod & Gun Club located at 1083 Whitehaven Road. Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple. Jenn is running for Grand Island Town Council. See flyer.


John Whitney Announces Candidacy for Grand Island Supervisor - August 2019


Fellow Islanders,
    It is with excitement and humility that I submit to you my candidacy announcement for Grand Island Town Supervisor. I am honored that both the Republican and Independence parties have chosen me as their endorsed candidate, and I hope that in reviewing my credentials and practical experience serving Grand Island you will support me as well at the ballot box this November.
    My educational background consists of a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Clarkson University and a Master of Engineering from SUNY Buffalo. I also possess a Professional Engineer’s License in New York State.
    I started serving the Town of Grand Island in the Engineering Department in June of 1986 as the Assistant Municipal Engineer and was promoted to Assistant Town Engineer in 1996. I was again promoted to Town Engineer in 2002 upon the retirement of my predecessor, Mr. John Phillips, P. E. This was a department of 5 employees. In 2005, the Town Board consolidated the Water Department, Wastewater Department and Engineering Departments into the Department of Engineering and Water Resources. Doing so reduced the number of Department Heads from 3 to 1. I was placed in charge of this department at that time and the 30+ employees that it was comprised of. This is one of the cost-saving measures I was involved in as I received no additional monetary compensation for accepting this position. Additionally, all three of those Department Heads were provided a vehicle to take home. I did not accept a vehicle. I retired as Town Engineer in 2017.
   I have been involved in all types of Capital Improvement projects. Obviously, several in the Water and Wastewater area, but also building improvements, road resurfacing and reconstruction, and recreational facilities, including the development of Veterans Park. I helped establish a five-year Capital Improvement Plan so we could keep spending under control.
    Having worked for the Town for over 31 years, I feel that I am uniquely qualified for the Town Supervisor position. I have been involved in many different types of projects involving communication and effective collaboration with outside agencies, at the Federal, State and County level. I also worked closely with the Town Board and served on the Special Districts Committee, Bike path and Sidewalk Committee, chaired the Safety Committee and served on the Plumbing Board. I also administered private contracts for the maintenance of Traffic Signals, Electrical and Plumbing repairs, Solid Waste Collection and HVAC work.
    As Town Supervisor, I pledge to be accountable. I believe that this is an incredibly critical part of this position. I know how this government is supposed to run, at least when it’s running correctly and efficiently. The decisions made by the Town Board affect each and every one of us and the trust placed in me will be held in the highest regard. Fulfilling the duties of Town Supervisor will be my highest priority.
    I will be available and will keep an open-door policy. I will be able to be contacted in person and hold regular office hours. As Town Supervisor, I am going to encourage everyone to communicate their thoughts, as I feel that communication is key to success.
    I also believe in Fiscal Conservancy and will continue to work to obtain funding to alleviate the tax burden on our citizens. The key to appropriately securing grant funding is that it should be done wisely and judiciously. I must caution you that obtaining grants for the sake of getting a grant can lead to failure. All grants come with requirements that add additional time and costs to the projects. However, my experience in this area will allow us to approach needed fund opportunities successfully.
    In closing, I would like to say that Grand Island is a fantastic community and I have been fortunate to be part of it for well over 30 years. I have been involved in helping it grow and want to continue along this path. I hope that you will consider me as your candidate for Town Supervisor.
Respectfully,
Mr. John C. Whitney, PE
“Experience You Can Count On” - web: whitney4supervisor.com - facebook: @whitney4supervisor


Pattie Frentzel Fundraiser Planned - July 2019


    Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel is running for re-election. There is a campaign fundraiser on Wednesday, July 17th, at the Niagara Sailing Club, East River Road, from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. See flyer for ticket information. Contact: Blantz1978@gmail.com or 773-8788.


Tom Franz Fundraiser Planned - June 2019


    Tom Franz is running for Grand Island Town Supervisor. There is a campaign fundraiser on Friday, June 28th, at the VFW, 2121 Grand Island Blvd., from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Come hear about Tom's vision for Grand Island. See flyer for ticket information.


George Hauss Announces Candidacy for Grand Island Town Clerk - June 2019


    George Hauss is running for Grand Island Town Clerk.
   He has been an Attorney for over 23 years and is Certified Public Accountant, practicing in the areas of real estate, tax, estate planning, and probate. He has lived on Grand Island for 16 years with his wife of 25 years Lisa Marie, who works as a nurse at ECMC and their 2 rescue dogs and cats. George is active in the community doing pro bono work assisting people with their taxes and legal aid services. George also volunteers with ECMC Nurse fundraising activities.
    In addition to private sector experience, George has worked for the government at the local level as a Judicial Law Clerk and Federal level as an Attorney Advisor. He is passionate about Grand Island and serving his community. As a present full time Town Clerk, George will use his legal skills and expertise to be an advocate for Grand Islanders with any issues that arise. He will also modernize the office to better serve the community. Please check out George’s website at www.hauss4clerk.com or Facebook: George Hauss For Grand Island Town Clerk.


Jennifer Pusatier Announces Candidacy for Grand Island Town Council - June 2019


    Jennifer Pusatier is running for Town Council, see her biography below:
    I have grown up on Grand Island, a mother of two, and the wife to my husband, Mike, of 23 years. My parents and in-laws are residents of Grand Island. We love our town. I am passionate about serving and helping others. Grand Island is our forever home. I want to give back to the community that raised me and now my family.
    Community is everything to me. I am very involved within the Town of Grand Island. As a director with the Chamber of Commerce, I have served as chairwoman to the Light Up the Boulevard, sat on the committee for the Community and Visitors Guide recently mailed to your homes, participated in fundraising, Citizen of the Year, and attend all the ribbon-cutting and celebrations for the businesses of Grand Island. You may have seen me on the news or in papers fighting for Grand Island on shutting down Tonawanda Coke with Citizen Science Community Resources, where I am a director. Currently, I sit on the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Planning Committee of Grand Island. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board is my newest appointment and I look forward improving our parks and growing our recreation programs.
    Within the last two years, the projects/events I have organized or volunteered for have allowed me to meet so many more fellow neighbors. Some of these include Solarize GI, Community Comprehensive Plan meetings, Grand Island News, E-Waste Collection, GI Kindness Rocks, chairwoman of GI BBQ and Festival, Turtle Derby for not-for-profits, GI Farms, Eco-Tourism Committee, Footprint Festival of Niagara at Beaver Island, Shoreline Trail, GI2, and GI cashless Tolls (which I will continue to fight for home free to Island residents).
   I am: *Dedicated, hardworking, and go above and beyond every time. *Work well with others and willing to listen. *Extremely organized. *Have relationships within the community (businesses, government, and organizations). *Not afraid of a challenge and will ask questions. *Full time councilwoman and accessible. *Understand the history of Grand Island and what is important to our community.
   Community is everything to me. I have attended every Town Board workshop and meeting in the last three-plus years. I also attend many advisory board meetings. GI should be guided by the taxpayers and not political parties or personal agendas. Disagreements or different ideas should be handled in a constructive manner respectfully; it’s how we grow. Those that serve need to be having open and honest conversations to better this town. Collaboratively, Democracy has to be brought to the table. I don’t know everything, but I will learn, I will ask questions, and I will commit to be fair and work hard. I look forward to earning your vote and sharing my vision for Grand Island in the upcoming months. I believe that in order to serve Grand Island you need to be a part of our town and to know our town.
   Please check out my website at www.Jenn4Council.com or Facebook: Jenn Pusatier for Grand Island Town Board.


Jacob McMahon Fundraiser Planned - May 2019


    Join our hometown hero, Jacob McMahon, at the Grand Island VFW Post 9249 & Auxiliary for Chicken BBQ and Drinks to support his race to be our next Erie County Legislator!. See flyer for details


Jacob McMahon Announces Candidacy for Campaign for Erie County Legislator - May 2019


    Grand Island, NY - Jacob McMahon, U.S. Marine, and Grand Island native is running for Erie County Legislator in the 4th District. “I believe in public service, not self service,” said McMahon. “I’m running to put taxpayers first in Erie County.” Coming from a long line of military and public service, Jacob grew up in a patriotic household and learned honor and loyalty first hand from his father who retired after serving 26 years in the US Air Force. Inspired by true leaders, Jacob McMahon enlisted early at 17 years old, to proudly serve the country he loves.
   After serving honorably overseas, Jacob returned to train new US Marines as Fire Team Leader in Camp Pendleton, California. In a training exercise gone awry, an ignited gas leak left Jacob McMahon with extensive and severe burns to his face, neck, and hands. After four weeks in the hospital and six months of care from home, including full reconstruction of his hands, wrists, face, and neck, Jacob made a strong recovery. While mentally and physically fit, Jacob could not be approved for field work and was given a medical release with an honorable discharge from his military service.
    Returning to Grand Island, Jacob McMahon immediately joined the Grand Island Volunteer Firefighters to continue serving his community, inspired by the first responders who had acted so bravely to save his life. “I believe in service; that we have a duty to our community to protect our home and make things better for the people around us. Because I can no longer serve my country, I want to continue now by serving my community. When I told my friends that I was coming back to Buffalo they asked me why - why go back to a state where the Second Amendment is oppressed, where jobs are hard to come by, and where the taxes and regulations kill growth. But this is my home. I believe home is worth fighting for.”
    The 4th Legislative District covers the town of Grand Island, as well as the City and Town of Tonawanda. Jacob McMahon is endorsed by the Republican, Independence, and Conservative Parties and is running on a platform of lower taxes, stronger infrastructure, and people before politics.




Mark S. Nemeth Announces Candidacy for Grand Island Town Justice - October - April 2019


    Mark S. Nemeth is announcing his candidacy for Grand Island Town Justice this year. He has received the endorsement of the Grand Island Republican Party, Conservative Party and the NY Independence Party. He will be appearing in those primaries on June 25, 2019 as well as those of the Democrat, Green and Working Families parties.
    For the past 15 years, Mark has been the Town of Grand Island Prosecutor. As the prosecutor, he has had responsibility for prosecuting all violations within the town's jurisdiction including violations of the New York Vehicle & Traffic Law, New York Criminal Law, and the Grand Island Town Code. He has tried hundreds of cases in Grand Island Court and handled thousands more over the last 15 years.
    Grand Island is a dynamic and growing community with complex challenges like other modern suburbs. The problems it faces today require legal training and experience and a full understanding of how to apply the law to the facts of all cases that come before the court. Mark will use his legal education and experience to address the challenges Grand Island faces today.
    Mark Nemeth received his law degree, with honors, from Cleveland State University's Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1993, where he was given the American Jurisprudence Award in Ethics and in Secured Transactions. He graduated with honors in 1987 from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a B.S. in history and a minor in education.
    In Mark's private practice, he is a partner in the law firm of Feldman Kieffer, LLP. He has been a licensed attorney and a litigator for more than twenty-five years, practicing in NY Supreme Court, Town Courts, and Federal District Courts throughout the state. He has extensive trial experience and appellate experience. Mark is a member of the WNY Prosecutors Association, the Erie County Bar Association, New York State Bar Association and the Defense Research Institute.
    Mark has been married to his wife Michelle, a high school math teacher in the Buffalo Public Schools, since 1993. They moved to Grand Island from North Buffalo in 1997. Mark and Michelle have two children, Miranda and Alex.
    Mark has been deeply involved in the Grand Island community by serving on the Grand Island Traffic Safety Advisory Board, coaching youth soccer for the Grand Island Soccer Club and St. Stephens, volunteering as a swim league official, and working the Lenten fish fry at St. Stephens. Mark is a past member of Grand Island Rotary and a past volunteer for Lawyers for Learning, an Erie County Bar Association organization providing lawyers to act as tutors for students in need of extra help at School 18 on Buffalo's West Side.
    Mark is looking forward to continuing his efforts to give back to Grand Island and make it an even better place to live by running for Town Justice. He is uniquely qualified to be Grand Island's next justice. He will bring his legal education, professional experience, and his sense of duty to the community to the office of Town Justice, and he will make Grand Island a better place to live and work. Mark can be reached by phone at 773-7782, by phone or text at 481-8904, or by email at mmnemeth@roadrunner.com or mnemeth@feldmankieffer.com .