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Vesci Gathers Supporters for Town Hall Session

By Matt Cole

Russ Vesci

With the November 5th general election just five weeks away, much political attention in Niagara Falls is focused on the race for Niagara Falls City Council.

Three Democratic and three Republican candidates are running for three seats.

That was the reason one candidate, Russ Vesci, invited The Reporter to attend a gathering last Wednesday night. The goal was to share ideas on how to revitalize Niagara Falls and move the city forward.

Over 40 people attended, many of them respected names in the city. They vowed to double their numbers the following week.

Much of the talk was of strategy, politics, and what was in the community's best interest. But, the consensus of the night seemed to be a need to maintain a balance of power.

The meeting was an impromptu town hall format, where everyone in attendance contributed their thoughts. It was clear most felt that the mayor of a city, any city, should not have a "rubber stamp" city council.

That, the people chosen to hold that office should be independently minded, and that a mayor should have to convince a body of his peers of the validity of his cause.

The highlights of the night, however, were the words of Russ Vesci.

Vesci is a soft-spoken mountain of a man who couldn't help but tell everyone in attendance about his kids and their obsession with Sponge Bob Square Pants.

"I'm going to be honest with you all," Vesci stated. "Those of you who know me know the importance to me of keeping my word. Those of you who do not yet know me, I hope you will soon find truth in my words."

"I have absolutely no desire to have power of people's lives. That's not at all why I'm doing this. And, I don't need the money. It really isn't very much.

The reason I am running [for city council] is because my wife and kids are afraid to walk down the street at night. I'm running to try to improve the quality of life in this city."

The full-time Niagara Falls Water Board employee continued, "Andy Touma went on Vince Anello's radio show and said that 'a certain amount of crime in this city is acceptable.' He said that 'people shouldn't be walking down 4th Street anyways.' I pay taxes in this city. I'm not willing to give any part of it back to the criminals."

Vesci, a black belt in karate, was honored by the city in 2002. He personally took back one city street when he saw two men robbing woman and tying her up.

The two criminals fled when they saw a brick wall with legs running at them. We're told it didn't go to well for the one he caught. Vesci held the man until police arrived.

Through his door-to-door efforts around the city and his campaign's Facebook page, Vesci has repeatedly spoken out against a property tax increase. He's reminded people that the mayor proposed one in last year's city budget, until removed by the council majority. He warns that it is sure to come up again.

Russ Vesci is a proud husband, father, and card carrying member of the United Steelworkers Union Local 9434.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

OCT 01, 2013