|Niagara Falls firefighter Jason Zona puts his life on the line.
Jason Zona has announced his intention to seek re-election in November for the Niagara County Legislature in the 5th District, which encompasses the Town of Niagara as well as the DeVeaux and Hyde Park areas of Niagara Falls.
A registered Democrat and a captain in the Niagara Falls Fire Department, Zona resides in DeVeaux and is completing his first term on the legislature.
“I ran two years ago promising to fight wasteful spending, combat annual increases in county taxes, expand the number of shared services, and change the business climate in Niagara County,” he said. “We had a good start in my first term on all of these issues, but much more work is needed."
Niagara County Democratic Chairman Nick Forster said Zona’s record speaks for itself.
"Jason is exactly what we were missing in Niagara County for a long time, and he is exactly what we need more of on the county legislature,” he said. “Someone who will stand up for the taxpayers of this county, the ones who have not had their voices heard by this Republican majority caucus over the last decade.”
In one short term, Zona has made his presence known in Lockport, Forster added. “He is a young, energetic and creative individual, and from what we have witnessed over his first term, he’s not shy about fighting for the taxpayers of Town of Niagara and Niagara Falls.”
Zona said the lopsided 12-3 Republican majority in the legislature presents many challenges.
“Although my colleagues and I in the Democratic minority were able to fend off a large tax increase on county taxpayers, with little help from the majority, this legislative body needs to act more responsibly with the taxpayers’ dollars,” he said. “I promise to continue fighting against wasteful spending and higher taxes in Niagara County.”
Zona co-sponsored the Direct Pay DSS Landlord legislation with resolutions that, if approved by the state, will require welfare recipients to use their rent vouchers on rent, as intended. He was instrumental in supporting the Fashion Outlets of Niagara $70 million expansion, and fought against wasteful consulting contracts and sweetheart leases, including one for voting booth and records storage in a building owned by the Republicans’ largest campaign contributor.
Zona also took the lead in bringing what he called the "questionable decision" to prematurely close the county-owned C&D Landfill in Lockport years before it was at capacity to the public’s attention, and went so far as to charge the closure was proposed to support the business interests of Republican campaign contributors.
Zona, along with longtime lawmaker Dennis Virtuoso, are currently the only voices of opposition to the super majority held by Republicans that permit them to pass any law, hire any consultant or give a lease without competitive bidding to any campaign contributor they care to choose.
Zona, 38, and his wife Danielle have a two-year-old daughter, Gabriella.