Niagara Gazette

Local News

July 1, 2013

Mayoral appointments change face of Village of Lewiston planning commission

Niagara Gazette — Sensing some major development projects in the village's future, Mayor Terry Collesano decided to make some bold moves concerning Lewiston's planning commission board.

It all starts at the top, where David Giusiana will take a step back from his chairmanship and hand the reins off to Kenneth Slagenhoupt.

It's a move Giusiana said makes sense. After all, he's an architect by trade and has been forced to recuse himself from several planning board votes due to numerous conflicts of interest. The conflicts will still be there, but he won't be responsible for meetings or representing the board in the public.

"It gives me the freedom to practice my profession and still be involved on the board," he said. "I have a project coming before the board next week. I'll still have to recuse myself, but now Kenneth is in charge of the meetings. He will run them."

Giusiana's change was only the tip of the iceberg for Collesano's changes to the five-member board. The mayor has been critical of the board's performance in the past and took the opportunity to replace one of its longtime members.

Jamie Symmonds, who had spent the last four years on the commission, was replaced by former Village Trustee Ernest Krell, a former planning commission member himself.

It was a move which shocked Symmonds and left Giusiana "disappointed."

Collesano said he elected to bring Krell back because of the importance of the work coming up and left the door open for Symmonds to continue serving in other capacities.

"There are a lot of big jobs coming up," Collesano said, hinting at possible new development by Carl Paladino's Ellicott Development Co. and restoration work at the Frontier House as major projects in the works. "I felt we needed more expertise and skill on the board. We need more insight."

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