A passion for Orchard Park marks the three candidates for two village trustee seats.
Mitchell Nowakowski, who ran for the School Board several years ago, is running against incumbents Joseph R. Wales and Francis T. Hogenkamp.
Mayor John B. Wilson, running with the Republican and Village First endorsements, is unopposed.
Hogenkamp, 71, is seeking a fourth term on the board. The owner of Hogenkamp Optics is running on the Republican and Village First lines.
He said he considered retiring, but he was urged by supporters to seek another term.
He said it comes down to how he feels about Orchard Park.
“It’s really my love for the village,” he said.
Hogenkamp said he has pushed for a strong business district, which meant opposing the state Department of Transportation plan to widen Buffalo Street to preserve parking.
He said he also worked to lower the speed limit to 30 mph. He wants to keep the tax rate low and continue working for a new senior center.
Wales, 36, has served one term on the Village Board. The president of Arthur’s True Value, he has been working for the hardware store since he was 17.
He thinks the village affords its residents added value, with promptly plowed streets and sidewalks and beautification efforts such as the hanging flower baskets.
Wales also wrote the first village employee handbook, and he points to the merit-based pay system that makes staff more accountable and more efficient.
“I’ve got some ideas on how to the make beautification program better,” he said.
He is running on the Republican, Conservative and Village First lines.
Nowakowski, 21, is studying urban and regional analysis and planning at SUNY Buffalo State and has an associate’s degree from Erie Community College.
Nowakowski, who ran unsuccessfully for the School Board when he was 18, has the Democratic and Conservative endorsements.
“My sole purpose of running is to give a fresh new vibe to the village,” he said. “A lot of the young people in the village are excited they will have young representation on the board.”
He said he will support the business district and is excited the village has a Safe Routes to School grant, which will encourage children and parents to walk and ride their bicycles.
Voting will take place from noon to 9 p.m. March 19 in the Municipal Center, 4295 S. Buffalo St.