By Michael Regan
NORTH TONAWANDA —
North Tonawanda City Councilman Mal Needler suffered a serious heart attack on Saturday at his home and is now in guarded condition at Buffalo General Hospital, according to city officials.
Scott Kiedrowski, a longtime friend, chairman of the Niagara County Republican Committee and the city's clerk-treasurer, said Needler's condition is stable as he continues to undergo medical treatment. Needler once served as Kiedrowski's campaign manager.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with him," Kiedrowski said.
Needler's family has requested that all inquires regarding his recovery be directed to Kiedrowski. The alderman joined the city council in 2011, taking the helm of an at-large seat. Needler also spent more than 20 years on the Niagara County Legislature. He had recently retired from the New York Power Authority.
Council President Rich Andres, who once interned for Needler during his time on the county Legislature, said his health issues would not deter the normal processes of city governance, with a regularly scheduled common council meeting set for Tuesday night.
However, he noted, Needler's reputation as a thorough public servant who often takes inquires into governmental happenings a step further will leave a hole on the common council, while his penchant for guiding candidates during a time when much of the Republican-dominated council is up for re-election will also create a void.
"Mal has always been a guy who was able to do the digging for us, he's sort of a guru when it comes to elections," Andres said. "He's definitely going to be missed during his absence. Hopefully his recovery is short."