Niagara Gazette — Steve Reiter and Ernie Palmer are friends. They’re currently serving on the Lewiston Town Board, with Reiter supervisor and Palmer a councilman.
Come Tuesday, Palmer will look to move one step closer to taking Reiter’s position when the two face off against each other as registered Republicans in the town and village of Lewiston decide in a primary election to pick their candidate for the town’s chief administrator.
“As former police chief and commander in both Niagara Falls and Youngstown, I have 30 years of experience managing personnel and handling critical incidents,” Palmer said. “I have been a Town Board member for almost seven years and have created, managed and worked within municipal budgets in various forms throughout my career. I also own and operate an independent accounting firm and I am currently enrolled to practice and represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. So I believe my management and financial experience makes me uniquely qualified to lead Lewiston going forward.”
Palmer, who received the endorsement of the Niagara County Republicans last month, said the town board’s efforts over the last several years, many led by Reiter’s administration, have been valiant. He praised the board’s abilities in budget preparation, fiscal accountability and level of services provided.
But pleasing everyone is difficult, he said. Case in point, there’s an increasing number of complaints of drainage problems throughout the town, of which he said he’d like to see solutions.
Palmer also would like to see equipment the town owns put on a replacement schedule. It’s a touchy issue, especially at the town’s highway department garage, where Highway Superintendent Doug Janese needed to borrow money this year to replace a pair of trucks both older than 20 years.
“Satisfying everyone is a difficult proposition, but for the most part, we have enjoyed great success in achieving this for the past several years,” he said. “Can we do better? We can always do better. Priorities change and tough decisions have to be made.”