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Incumbents are backed in Blasdell Village political races

BY: Steve Dlugosz | January 30, 2013

A pair of incumbent Blasdell Village Board trustees, along with a longtime village court justice, received for their slated positions both Democractic and Conservative nominations at Blasdell caucuses held at Village Hall last Wednesday (January 26).

Current trustees Rob Hefner and Kathy Seufert King, as well as Justice Daniel P. Grasso, will be on the ballot for the village election to be held on Tuesday, March 19 at Village Hall. Applications for individuals interested in running against the incumbents were noted as being due at Village Hall by Feb. 13.

Grasso, a Democrat and attorney, is seeking election to a fourth term on the bench, one that would carry a four-year designation. A lifelong resident of Blasdell, Grasso has served as Village Court Judge for the past 12 years and told those in attendance at the caucuses that he’s committed to continuing his dedication to delivering effective courtroom justice.

“I believe I am uniquely qualified as village justice, and I think I’ve done a good job over the course of twelve years here,” said Grasso, who added that he’s attempted to impose fair, just rulings to those before him in the courtroom. “I’d like to thank you for your support in the past, and would like your continued support over (hopefully) the next four years.”

Grasso said additionally that he’s served as acting City Court Judge in Buffalo over the last few years.

Hefner, a Conservative, has served as a jack-of-all-trades outside Village Hall over the last couple of years, helping to organize events such as Blasdell’s Memorial Day Parade, Halloween Party and Christmas party, taking on active roles in each endeavor. A 1988 graduate of Lake Shore High School, Hefner is seeking a second full term on the Village Board, having been elected to his current term while running on the Conservative line in March 2011. Hefner had initially been elected in September 2010 to fill the remainder of the board term held by Michael Petrie, who was appointed at that time to the position of interim mayor to replace former Mayor Ernest J. Jewett, who resigned in July 2010.

Petrie was eventually elected as Blasdell mayor in March 2011, and Hefner earned the trustee spot during that same election.

Hefner described his time on the board as a roller coaster ride of sorts, adding that the village is headed in an upward direction with morale similarly rising.

“I like what’s going on with the village and board, and to have (the board) really doing well (together) is something that’s a long time coming in Blasdell,” said Hefner, who along with Seufert King is seeking a four-year term on the board. “From here, I’d like to see nothing but positives. We’ve kept taxes down the last couple of years…The Village Board is on the road for (positive) change.”

Seufert King, a Democrat, has held an active role in Blasdell recreation and said she has grasped in high regard the concept of village residents and children receiving local jobs in that capacity. Seufert King said she’s happy with various improvements made by the Village Board and aims to help continue the melioration.

“The village is going in the right direction,” said King, who was elected in March 2012 to fill the remainder of the term held by former trustee Jeff Adrian, who resigned from his position with one year remaining. Seufert King had run on the Love of Blasdell party line. “I want to serve the residents of the village in the best way possible.”

Competition for the Blasdell trustee seats, as well as that of village court justice, has yet to be announced. It was added that in the hypothetical case of Grasso not being able to serve on the bench, Hamburg Town Judge Walter Rooth would volunteer his services as acting village justice in Blasdell. Thomas J. Wojciechowski had previously served as a longtime acting court justice in Blasdell in a part-time position before resigning in November.

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