Niagara Gazette — Councilman Glenn Choolokian is now Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian.
The new chairman was sworn in at Monday’s council meeting standing with his wife Pamela and 11-year-old son Gadge. His 13-year-old daughter, Hope, was stuck home in bed sick.
“I think it’s a great honor,” Choolokian said. “I’m very grateful for this opportunity and I’m going to just work very hard to make people proud of us, the city council and this team with (Mayor Paul Dyster.)”
Choolokian was voted to the chairman’s seat by a 3-2 vote, defeating Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti. Choolokian was nominated by Councilman Robert Anderson Jr. and voted for by Councilman Sam Fruscione, Anderson and himself. Grandinetti was nominated by Councilman Charles Walker. She received votes form Walker and herself.
Choolokian said the council will need to work as a team to get through what promises to be another tough year with the city’s fiscal outlook being dependent on the outcome of the arbitration process in the dispute over the gaming compact between the Seneca Nation of Indians and New York state.
“We’re going to have to look for more opportunities for Niagara Falls and try to hit home with the things we do,” Choolokian said. “We’ve got to reanalyze things and see what the priorities are and then we’ve just got to move forward.”
Choolokian said that he and outgoing chairman Fruscione often align on issues and constituents can expect a similar style of leadership.
“It’s like we switched chairs,” Choolokian said. “Nothing’s going to change.”
Grandinetti said she was seeking the position so that she could try to get the council moving in the same direction.
“I know we’re not always going to get along, we’re not always going to agree on everything, but it’s become rather divisive,” Grandinetti said. “I think it has a negative impact on the city.”