SALAMANCA — Ward 2 alderman Timothy J. Flanigan has died, Mayor Michael Smith announced Wednesday.
Flanigan, 67, died Tuesday at Buffalo General Hospital following a long illness due to pancreatitis, Smith said. He sat on the Common Council for six years.
“He was good on the council and a good friend. I’m just heartbroken,” Smith said. “I could call him on the phone and he always had a thought or an opinion or advice.”
Flanigan was first elected to the council in 2014 and sworn in on Jan. 1, 2015. He ran two successful re-election campaigns and had one of the two longest continuous tenures on the current council.
Smith said there is no plan to fill the vacancy in the Ward 2 alderman’s seat with less than two months and only one council meeting left in the year. Since he did not seek re-election, Flanigan’s term would have ended Dec. 31.
“I’m hoping he died painlessly and peacefully,” the mayor added. “I think there’s a spot in Heaven for Tim Flanigan.”
A lifelong Salamanca resident, Flanigan worked many of his younger years at Parkview Supermarket, beginning in high school, and went on to own a grocery store in Allegany.
From there, he successfully managed high-volume drug stores for the former FAY’s in Jamestown, Olean and Wellsville. After almost 25 years of retail management, Flanigan changed careers and entered the world of business-to-business sales.
After retirement, Flanigan stayed active volunteering in organizations such as the Seneca Salamanca Chamber of Commerce and the Salamanca Industrial Development Agency.
While in office, Flanigan served as the council representative on the Board of Public Utilities Commission, Police Commission and IDA board as well as a liaison with the Seneca Nation of Indians.
Smith said Flanigan was his confidant during his first year in the mayor’s office and that Flanigan would “let me cry on his shoulder and gave me advice.” During the past year, if Flanigan was unable to attend a meeting, Smith said they would talk to get Flanigan’s thoughts and opinions on whatever was on the agenda in case a tie had to be broken.
“My opinion was one thing, but I would always talk with Tim and say, ‘This is what he wanted me to do,’” the mayor added.
Ward 1 alderman John “Jack” Hill said he and Flanigan were in grade school together and that he had suffered for long enough.
“We lost a good man,” Hill added. “We’re going to miss him on the council. He was a good man to work with.”
Ward 4 alderwoman and mayor-elect Sandy Magiera said she had known Flanigan for more than 30 years. She said he was her boss at Parkview long before they worked together again on the council.
“He was a quiet man, but he got the job done, and we will all miss him very much,” she added.
Ward 5 alderwoman Janet Koch said that although the council knew he had been sick for a while, Flanigan didn’t give up and “continued to plug along” to serve the city.
“I’m sad to hear of his passing. It was wonderful working with him the past four years,” she said. “He was dedicated to his city.”
In January, Flanigan will be succeeded by Kylee Johnson as the Ward 2 representative on the council. Johnson ran unopposed in the Nov. 3 election.
“It falls on Kylee now to live up to Tim’s legacy and keep moving forward the good work that he did,” Smith said. “This city will miss him.”
Smith announced that Salamanca’s city offices will be closed today to mourn Flanigan’s passing and to honor his memory. The Department of Public Works and youth center will also be closed for the day. A drop box at the east end of the municipal building, next to the Board of Public Utilities door, can be used for all departments.
(Contact Salamanca Press editor Kellen Quigley at firstname.lastname@example.org.)