As I prepare to leave office, after four fun-filled, enjoyable years, I wanted to say thank you to all the residents who have allowed me to serve as mayor.
Look what we’ve done over the past years — from new steps at Jefferson Park, to the beautification of Main Street; from Hometown Hero banners to the playground at Highland Avenue.
We’ve established a citywide fire-safety inspection, convinced New York state to maintain its arterials through the city, we’ve improved relations with the Great Seneca Nation of Indians and completed the Pennsy Trail, and so much more.
Thank you to the city council members and city department heads — I had the extreme pleasure to work with you, especially April Vecchiarella and our city attorney, Erich Weyand, as well as the Salamanca City School District and the administrators of the SNI, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Olean and Mayor Bill Aiello, the Town of Great Valley and Supervisor Dan Brown, the Village of Ellicottville and Mayor John Burrell and all our neighbors.
Great appreciation goes to Congressman Tom Reed and Assemblyman Joe Giglio, state Sen. George Borrello and, before him, former Sen. Catharine Young.
Also, thank you to this great newspaper for printing my communications to our citizens.
Now for the future: I promise my support to the new administration of Mayor Sandy Magiera and the new city council. Folks, if you need me just call.
I would like our city to continue to show its pride through improvements and actions. We got so much accomplished, but there is so much left for you to get done. You have to worry about the Ray Evans Seneca Theater, the support of the Senior Center, the ever-shrinking tax base and the development of tourism on the Allegheny River, among the many things on your agenda.
My focus will be on a subject that has been tugging at my heart for nearly four years. I believe we live in the “Promised Land,” to quote an old Willie Nelson song. There are families living under tarps at our nation’s southern border, and around the world. We in Salamanca have everything needed to bring some of these unfortunates here and get them a fresh start.
Think: If this country ever devolved to the point where you couldn’t protect your family from crime and had to leave, what would you do? Salamanca has housing, room in the schools, jobs and, more importantly, a city filled with big hearts and, most importantly, pride.
I will call on the Council of Churches and the area’s volunteer groups to help make houses livable, the school to accept students in need of an English as a second language program and the city’s Board of Public Utilities to give a couple months of free utilities to help them get started.
We can and we MUST help others in any and every way we can. Please help me with this cause.
I do have some fun plans — as soon as COVID runs it’s course.
I remain the varsity baseball coach and want to invite all to our new showcase stadium at Vets Park for the spring season. We will continue to fundraise for our 2022 spring break trip to the Outer Banks, where we’ll play five games against top-notch North Carolina programs.
I also have put together a run at breaking the Guinness Book of World Records’ standard for a marathon kickball game, as well as an outdoor concert, behind the Holy Cross Club off of Race Street.
I also look forward to spending time with all the grandchildren.
Folks, again, thank you for having faith in a big mouth radio DJ — and y’all know where to find me if you need a chicken barbecue or a DJ show.