Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 20, 2012

Janese measure evaporates as Kimble stripped of vice chair position on Water Board


Niagara Gazette —

Tom Vitello — the other board member to vote against Lance's appointment — was also absent from the board's December meeting on Thursday night.

Kimble sent an email to Paul Drof, the executive director of the water board, Thursday afternoon saying she would not make it because she had family obligations, he said.

Kimble has claimed that Lance's appointment was "political patronage". Both Janese and Lance are committee men with the Niagara County Republicans and Kathryn Lance, Roger Lance's wife, is a Republican county legislator from Wheatfield.

Kimble also claims that Henry Wojtaszek, a long-time county Republican and ally to state Senator George Maziarz - R, Newfane, had called members of the board urging them to appoint Lance to the position.

Kimble did not return a message seeking comment late Thursday.

But Janese said Kimble's real motive to launch an investigation into his residency is that she did not get the candidate she wanted into the administrative position. 

He has said "surrogates" for State Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-Lewiston, Niagara Falls City Council Chairman Sam Fruscione and Councilman Glenn Choolokian had contacted board members urging them to appoint William Angus, one of the final three candidates for the position.

All the politicians have denied any efforts to influence the hiring process.

Janese said Lance's 23 years of service in the Army — during which he was honored with a long list of service awards including a bronze star — made him the best candidate for the position.

"The guy's qualified," Janese said.

Janese received letters of support from people who had served with Lance in the Army where he rose to command hundreds of troops, both U.S. soldiers and Afghan National Army soldiers, he said.

"I think he can handle the water board," Janese said.

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