‘Voice for all’ takes on newcomer in Fourth Ward
By M.J. STAFFORD
In Dunkirk’s Fourth Ward, Republican Nancy Nichols is facing an Election Day challenge from Democrat candidate Nanette White.
Nichols, a former Dunkirk Board of Education member and crossing guard, was first elected in 2019, defeating Democratic incumbent Michael Civiletto. A political newcomer, White is an early childhood teacher with the Seneca Nation and worked at Absolut Care in Dunkirk for more than 20 years.
The OBSERVER asked all Common Council candidates to submit answers to three questions. The responses of Nichols and White follow.
Question 1: Why are you running for Common Council?
Nancy Nichols: I’ve decided to seek re-election to ensure the great many working projects that have been started in the last two years be completed. Despite COVID-19, Dunkirk has made many positive strides. I’m here for all the right reasons. That being, I’m a voice for all, not just a few. After all, this is my hometown and I’m proud of it. I’m not a rubber stamp person. I want to know who, what, where and why before I will agree on passing a resolution.
Nanette White: I believe as a member of the council I can help by making decisions based on the city’s best interest. I was born and raised here so I’ve seen how the city was stagnant up until 2016 when Mayor Wilfred Rosas took office and I’m running for Common Council because it’s time for positive change. Some of the council are set in their ways. They want change, but not in their own backyard. They’ve allowed their own agendas to get in the way of progress for the city. I bring the open mind and necessary positivity our city needs in order to move our city forward.
Question 2: What is the biggest problem facing the city of Dunkirk?
White: From what I’ve seen it’s the current council. They have done nothing but disrupt the city since January of 2020. They’ve created a toxic work environment that’s resulted on the city losing out on two very competent and qualified planning and development directors. It’s time for change.
Nichols: Absentee landlords, empty storefronts and neglected houses are a huge concern, along with the tax burden that the closing of the NRG plant has caused and will continue to plague us. The lack of transparency is another concern. Decisions are being made behind closed doors without any input or discussions with council.
Question 3: If elected, what do you want to accomplish?
White: If elected, I look to improve our housing stock. Let me explain. Industries are expanding. We have more jobs available in the city than we have people to work them. I would encourage the mayor and administration to seek federal and state funding to provide incentives for developers to build more housing to bring more people into our city to work these jobs. That brings in more revenue to the city, which is a win.
See FOURTH, Page A6
Nichols: If re-elected, I hope to continue the same working relationship with the Department of Public Works to obtain a more cost effective program at our recycling center on Lucas Avenue. I also would work diligently to get more of our streets that are in dire straits and long neglected, repaved. I would help finish the task of the sale and removal of the long abandoned boats stored behind the Boardwalk. I’d work to entice small businesses to fill the empty store fronts in our downtown area. Lastly, I support starting the process of constructing an off shore breakwall along Lakefront Boulevard.