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The Sun election 2013 coverage: Hamburg

Steven Walters
Steven Walters
Hamburg Town Supervisor


Steven Walters is running for reelection as the Hamburg town supervisor. He said that, throughout his tenure, he “has been a strong fiscal conservative and protector of the taxpayer.”

He successfully initiated numerous reforms that resulted in spending’s being reduced. The recently proposed 2014 budget continues to keep spending lower than the 2007 budget, which has allowed Walters to lower taxes during five of the last seven years.

Walters said that he “has strived to improve the quality of life of the residents of our community.”

He spearheaded the town’s effort to take over the operations of Woodlawn Beach and also procured a new senior center, helped bring about the Hamburg Library expansion and Rootie’s Run dog park and continues to upgrade neighborhood parks.

Public safety has also been enhanced, with additional police officers on the road and updated equipment.

Walters pursued the town’s purchase of the Lake Erie Industrial Park, in a stated effort of continuing his record of job growth. In addition, he said that commercial vacancy rates in Hamburg continue to be lower than they were, when he first took office.

He lives in Hamburg with his wife Beth and their three children. He is a graduate of Frontier High School, Canisius College and Notre Dame Law School.

He has been endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.

Walter Rooth III
Walter Rooth III
Hamburg Town Supervisor


Walter Rooth III is running for Hamburg town supervisor. His father was an ironworker before enrolling in law school, and Rooth’s mother worked in the Ford Auto Plant’s Learning Lab for almost 10 years.

Rooth graduated from Duquesne University with a double major in biochemistry and computer science. Before he went to law school, he became an emergency medical technician and joined the Hamburg Volunteer Fire Department. He was part of the first aid responders who handled emergency calls. “This gave me an appreciation of the commitment that our Hamburg Volunteer Fire Department gives, on a daily basis,” he said.

After graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, Rooth was hired as an assistant district attorney for the Erie County District Attorney’s office. During his 10 years with that office, he was the gang prosecutor for Erie County and chief of the driving while intoxicated bureau. He tried many felony jury trials. For the past seven years, he has been self-employed in Hamburg, handling real estate, estates, criminal law and other general practice matters.

He coaches for the Hamburg Little Cagers Basketball Program and the Hamburg Junior Baseball League. He is a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels and is a member of Saint Bernadette’s Church. He served as a board member for the Hamburg Counseling Center and is currently on the board of directors for the Beechwood/Blocher Foundation.

He has been married for 10 years and has two daughters. As a small business owner and as a resident, he said he has “observed with dismay the manner in which the Republican-led Hamburg Town Board has conducted itself, over the past several years.

“I believe that the voters in Hamburg have the same reaction and want a return of professionalism, civility and fiscal responsibility in our public officials,” Rooth said.

He is endorsed by the Democratic and Working Families parties.

Amy Ziegler
Amy Ziegler
Hamburg Town Board


Amy Ziegler is running for reelection to the Hamburg Town Board.

She was born and raised in the village of Hamburg. She graduated from Hamburg High School and from Michigan State University, with honors. She then attended the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.

She was admitted to practice law in 1988 and has been admitted to all courts in New York state. She has been employed as the confidential law clerk to New York State Supreme Court Justice Frederick Marshall since November 2000.

She was previously a senior trial counsel for Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, Chicago First Insurance Company and the Alliance Group of Companies. She was also formerly a member of Hurwitz and Fine PC.

Her professional affiliations have included memberships in the Erie County Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, Western New York Trial Lawyers Association and WNY Matrimonial Trial Lawyers Association. She was a lecturer and contributor to the New York State Bar Association and Volunteer’s Lawyer Project. She has been associated with the New York State Bar Association Mock Trial Program, Lawyers For Learning, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law Mentor Program and Kids Voting-WNY.

In 2007, she was voted a member of “Who’s Who in the Law,” for work in government service, and earned a superior rating from Buffalo Business First.

Since her 2009 election to the Hamburg Town Board, she has been a liaison to the youth, recreation and seniors; buildings and grounds; highway department; zoning and planning and domestic violence advisory boards.

“I have generated renewed interest in our waterfront, with the resurrection of the Seaway Trail building,” she said. “In addition, I have initiated a recreation foundation advisory board, which will help guide our recreation programs and shape our parks and playgrounds, for years to come.”

The Hamburg Town Board recently filed a budget that decreased taxes for the fifth time in seven years. Spending is below that of 2007.

The Frontier Education Learning Center is being renovated, “which will not only further consolidate our recreation and senior staff members, but affords our seniors with a state-of-the-art senior center, as well as an adult day care center,” Ziegler said.

She said the board is proud of its new historical society building and looks forward to breaking ground on the new library addition.

“Prudent use of our Industrial Development Agency has resulted in a commercial vacancy rate of less than 10 percent, while adding generously to our tax base,” she said, adding that the town board’s commitment to public safety is illustrated by its police department, narcotics division and CodeRED® system.

She has been endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.

Michael Quinn Jr.
Michael Quinn Jr.
Hamburg Town Board


Michael Quinn Jr. is running for a spot on the Hamburg Town Board. He lived in Lakeview and then moved to the Mount Vernon area. He graduated from Frontier High School in 1992. He joined the United States Army and served as an infantryman with the 82nd Airborne Division.

After completing three years of military service and receiving an honorable discharge, he returned to Hamburg. He was accepted into the Ironworker’s Union Apprenticeship program, where he worked on buildings and bridges in Western New York and attended apprenticeship training. He also attended Erie Community College and the State University of New York at Buffalo under the GI Bill. He then attended law school at SUNY Buffalo.

He ironworked around the country for a year after graduation and worked to construct the new federal courthouse downtown, during the day. He studied for the bar exam, during the evening.

He is currently a trial attorney at Collins & Collins Attorneys LLC in Buffalo, where he concentrates his practice on representing injured construction workers. He is the father of three.

“I am now in a position to give back to the town I call home,” Quinn said. “I accepted the challenge to run for town council, despite the advice of many who said the state of our town board would ruin my reputation.”

Quinn has been endorsed by the Democratic and Working Families parties.

Cheryl Potter-Juda
Cheryl Potter-Juda
Hamburg Town Board


Cheryl Potter-Juda is the endorsed Democratic candidate for the Hamburg Town Board. She has been a Hamburg resident for 26 years, along with her two daughters.

Potter-Juda has a master’s degree in secondary English education and elementary education.

She has been teaching in a public school for 30 years and is a member of the New York State United Teachers.

“My many years of experience as a professional educator have given me the people skills to return civility to the town board,” she said. “I not only work with students on a daily basis, but with colleagues, parents, guidance workers, health care workers, administrators, secretaries, school board members, principals, police, firemen, veterans and the superintendent, along with the community. This vast experience has well prepared me for issues on varying levels, with all groups of the community.”

She said that she is a proud member of the community and intends to put the interest of the town and residents first. “I want to return professionalism, civility and fiscal responsibility of the town board and its people,” she said. “Together, we can make a difference.”

She has also been endorsed by the Working Families Party.

Lawrence Speiser
Hamburg Town Board


Lawrence Speiser has been endorsed for a two-year term on the Hamburg Town Board by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.

Gerald Gorman
Hamburg Town Justice


Gerald Gorman has been endorsed for a four-year term as Hamburg town justice by the Democratic, Conservative and Working Families parties.

Tom Best
Tom Best
Hamburg Highway Superintendent


Tom Best is running for reelection as the Hamburg highway superintendent. He is responsible for more than 400 lane miles throughout the town of Hamburg.

Best said that he intends to do a good job with improved efficiency. He has 61 full-time employees and, during the peak summer months, up to 50 part-time people.

During the past 4 1/2 years, he has maintained a balanced budget every year, while keeping costs down without any reduction in services to the taxpayers.

He established an employee educational program, in which qualified employees attend educational institutions, eliminating the need for outsourcing jobs to other companies. “This has resulted in a huge savings to the taxpayers and a great benefit to the members of the CSEA Union” who represent both of his departments, he said.

He offers yearly training for all of his employees, paid for by a grant received through the efforts of OSEA.

He created a signal department and a tree-trimming department and is in the process of creating an HVAC department.

Beside the road maintenance, paving, snow plowing and general upkeep, he is also responsible for all town-owned and run facilities, including an Olympic-size ice rink, beaches in two locations, an 18-hole golf course, two libraries, a BMX track, playing fields for softball, soccer and almost 40 playgrounds used daily by Hamburg families. He also established the first “Adopt-A-Playground” program in New York.

Best opened Rootie’s Run, the first off-leash dog park in the Southtowns area, in 2011.

He assigned workers from a prison labor force to clear brush at the town park and the soccer fields along Lakeview Road.

He was born and raised in South Buffalo. He and his wife Barbara have four children and seven grandchildren.

He graduated from Erie Community College in 1972, with a degree in police science, and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, in 1975. He attended the FBI National Academy in 1985.

He worked for the Chevrolet plant in Tonawanda and then applied to the Blasdell Police Department. He transferred to the town of Hamburg Police Department, retiring as captain in 2001.

He served as a town councilman for 2 1/2 years, before becoming highway superintendent.

He is endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.

Ted Casey
Ted Casey
Hamburg Highway Superintendent


Hamburg resident Ted Casey is endorsed by the Hamburg Democratic Committee for the position of highway superintendent.

“I’m not seeking a retirement job, but a career in public service for the residents of Hamburg,” Casey said. “I have the energy, determination and education required to meet the challenges that face the highway superintendents of the future.”

Casey said that his goal is to ensure that the quality of roads and parks contribute to making Hamburg the “flagship community of Western New York. I will bring my extensive business and union background experience to create an efficiently run department. I will work responsively with residents, to ensure that the Hamburg Highway Department is no longer perceived as a one-way street.”

Casey is a senior manager for a Western New York manufacturing company and has more than 20 years of experience in industrial and construction safety, labor relations and lean management principles.

He graduated from Frontier Central Schools in 1985 and was raised in Lake View, where he currently resides with his family.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in financial economics from the State University of New York College at Buffalo and a master’s degree in safety management/environmental studies from the University of Rochester. He is Six Sigma certified.

“I am honored to run for this position and vow to be a hands-on leader,” he said. “This position is very much about interacting with the community, to understand and resolve issues to the satisfaction of all.”

“I’ll change the direction of the position and put professionalism and relevant experience and qualifications over politics and patronage,” Casey added, about his goals. “It’s time that Hamburg’s elected officials put the residents first.”






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