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Diane Benczkowski

Candidate for Cheektowaga Town Board

Lines on Ballot: Democratic

Age: 55

Number of years living in town: lifelong resident

Occupation/Employer: Real estate broker/M.J. Peterson Real Estate

Top campaign platform agendas:

As a real estate broker for over 25 years, I have seen the negative impact home foreclosures and rising property taxes have had on residents having to move out of Cheektowaga. However, if we address these issues aggressively, I feel that we can encourage young families to move back into Cheektowaga for all it has to offer.

It is time to move in a new, more progressive direction in Cheektowaga. We want businesses and industry that will have a strong economic impact on Cheektowaga so that our younger generations will have a future. I want to attract and retain businesses that offer better-paying jobs in high-tech and manufacturing instead of more hot dog, donut, pizza and fast-food joints.

I also feel quality-of-life issues are important. Sensible budgeting to keep property taxes in line and strategic planning that supports families and businesses are vital. And above all, strong leadership and accountability in our town are key elements in making government work for the families of Cheektowaga.

Biggest issues facing the town:

Too many residents and businesses are moving out of Cheektowaga, and as a result, we have vacant homes, empty store fronts and blight.

Also, the burden of taxes on the few residents left living in the town has increased. We need to encourage families and high-economic businesses to move back to Cheektowaga and make it vibrant again.