Smith praises Salamanca accomplishments during council reorganizational meeting

The current Salamanca Common Council began the second of its two-year term with a reorganizational meeting last week, at which Mayor Michael Smith praised the city for what has been accomplished the past three years since he’s been in office.

SALAMANCA — Beginning his final year as mayor of Salamanca, Michael “Smitty” Smith continues to show his “Salamanca Pride.”

During the Common Council’s reorganizational meeting Jan. 8, Smith, who had previously announced he will not seek reelection in November, commended the council, city and community as a whole for what has been accomplished in the past three years.

“This will be my last tour,” the mayor said. “We’ve had a great run.”

Smith thanked the four members who have been on the council since he was elected in 2016, Ward 2’s Tim Flanigan, Ward 3’s Michael Lonto, Ward 4’s Sandy Magiera and Ward 5’s Janet Koch, as well as Ward 1 representative Jack Hill who was elected in 2018.

“Say what you want, but the city is rolling,” Smith said. “Positive things are happening.”

Smith noted several things the city has accomplished in his three years so far, including the playground on Highland Avenue, a new generator and HVAC system at the city municipal building and the rebuilding of Main Street.

“Celebrate Salamanca, the Christmas Parade and two of the largest Falling Leaves Festivals in years back-to-back,” he said. Smith also mentioned the clean-ups around the city with several abandoned properties being torn down, the senior center improvements and a grant for renovating the Nies Block building on Main Street.

The mayor also noted the improved relations between the city, Seneca Nation and the school district, culminating the upcoming Veterans Memorial Park revitalization project.

“The positives are happening around the city, and that’s your fault,” Smith said to the council. “Look at the things we’ve done when you add them all up, and it takes you a second to sit back and go, ‘We did all this,’ and that’s a really good thing.”

AS PART OF the reorganizational meeting, Ward 3 council representative Lonto was chosen as council president for the fourth straight year.

In addition to regular new-year business, the mayor re-appointed several city residents to their respective boards for new terms.

“They are absolutely all reappointments, with the exception of the city historian,” Smith said. “I talked with all of these people personally.”

John Slater and Kylee Johnson were each reappointed to two-year terms on the Fire Commission ending Jan. 31, 2022.

Susan Zaprowski was reappointed to a five-year term on the Library Board of Trustees ending Jan. 31, 2025.

Michael Foreman was reappointed to a two-year term as Plumbing Inspector ending Dec. 31, 2021.

Lane Hoag was reappointed to a three-year term on the Police Commission ending Jan. 31, 2023.

Rich Zurat and Ed Dry were each reappointed to three-year terms on the Recreation Commission ending Jan. 31, 2023.

David Koch and Tina Becker were each reappointed to three-year terms on the Zoning Board of Appeals ending Jan. 31, 2023.

James Griffith was newly appointed as City Historian for a two-year term ending Dec. 31, 2021.

“They all complement both the city and in particular the Common Council. Their representatives are joyous to work with them,” Smith said. “There was nobody I even had to do any arm-twisting with. They’re liking what we’re doing, they like working with you all and they like working with the city.”

IN OTHER BUSINESS, the council:

  • Approved the city and Seneca Nation’s Joint Leasing Commission budget for 2020, authorizing the city’s 50 percent share of the budget in the amount of $5,000.
  • Approved the shared services agreement between the state DOT and the city for the cost of winter maintenance on Route 950B (North State Street) for the 2019-20 winter season with the city receiving $12,930.62 for the work done.
  • Authorized the lease agreement of a new, unused copier in the city municipal building. City Clerk Tracy Chamberlain noted leasing the copier would cost about $138 a month compared to the $350 it costs to run the previous machine.

(Contact managing editor Kellen Quigley at kquigleysp@gmail.com)