SALAMANCA — Ward 4 alderwoman Sandra Magiera has spent the past four years serving the city on the Common Council. Now, she’s hoping to continue that work from the mayor’s office.
“Years ago I thought about it, but when there was no one running this year, I decided that I would step up and run to hopefully keep the city moving in a forward direction like we have the past few years,” Magiera said in a recent conversation with the Press.
Magiera is backed by the Democratic party and challenges Republican candidate and former mayor Ron Ball.
A longtime Salamanca resident, Magiera has been a manager at Sander’s Parkview and previously operated Mongillo’s Superette on Summit Street for 16 years.
In her overall six years in office, Magiera has been the council representative on the Fire Commission, Police Commission, Recreation Commission and Youth Board, among others.
“I’ve sat on every commission except for the (Board of Public Utilities) so I think that’s helped me to understand what their needs are for each department,” she said. “From a few years ago to know, we’ve all learned to work together very well. We don’t always agree, but we always talk to each other at the end of the day.”
At this point, Magiera says the city’s finances are in a rough state with the ongoing casino compact issue. She said the city can’t always rely on the casino money to be there and they should come up with other funding avenues.
“We were working on developing the State Park Avenue property, but with COVID that was put to a halt for now,” she said. “Maybe we can continue to work on that and put something there that will draw a tax base to the city.”
In order to do that, Magiera said the city has to continue working with the Seneca Nation, especially if a new access road is to be built to that land. She said past collaborative projects with the Nation, like the Pennsy Trail, has shown the two work well together.
“I think we’re all in it together to really make the community a better place for all of us to live, instead of being separate,” she explained. “But we all have to work together.”
A major talking point lately has been poor road conditions, something Magiera addressed with a petition to the state last year. “We really need to get the roads done. Financially we can’t pay for it through the city, so we have to depend on the state,” she added.
Elsewhere in the city, Magiera said the playground upgrades have been great for the kids, but she wants to see more done for the kids to do. She said she wants the kids to know that Salamanca can be a better place to live than it is currently, hoping to continue tackling the city’s drug problem and addressing blighted houses.
“I’d like to see investors come in and do something with Main Street,” she added. “There are some new businesses now on Main. It’d be nice if we can fill in a few more empty buildings.”
If elected, Magiera said she’d like to meet with all the city departments right away to see what their needs are and what their ideas are for the city. She said the city needs to continue pursuing and acquire grants, no matter the size.
“Even little projects, little steps, are better than no steps at all,” she sa8d.
So far, Magiera said the county and city’s Democratic committees and several employees in city hall have given her their support. She said she’s heard a nice response from the community, saying she’s talked to residents in every ward.
Looking ahead to the next two years, Magiera wants to see Main Street be “Main Street” again. Although many people hold onto the idea of what Salamanca used to be, Magiera said they have to also look at what it is now and have a vision of what it can be if everyone works together toward one cause.
“My big thing, too, is cleaning up Salamanca,” she said. “Pride back in the city again and the community. Whether you have very little or a lot, you should be proud of what you have.”
During her campaign, Magiera said she’s been using a slogan given to her by a woman who sent her a card that was signed, “Fly the flag, wear a mask and vote.”
“Because of the flags on Main Street, and of course we should all be wearing a mask and then everyone needs to get out to vote because every vote counts,” she said.
Magiera said she is thankful for everyone for their past support. She is available to talk with any residents who have any questions by calling 945-3160 or 257-0744.