The 4/5 of a North Tonawanda Common Council left since Arthur Pappas was slipped in as Mayor instead of filling the Alderman at Large position he was elected to made a good decision: The Council appointed an acting City Clerk-Treasurer to replace voter-elected Scott P. Kiedrowski, who has moved on to be chief of staff for New York State Senator Robert G. Ortt, the one the North Tonawanda voters elected to be their Mayor.
Denise Proefrock was appointed acting City Clerk-Treasurer, for the second time in seven years.
Proefrock has worked in the City Treasurer's office since at least 2000 when she was an account clerk typist. By 2006. she was a senior account clerk typist. Probably because of Mayoral transitions, she rotated between account clerk typist and senior account clerk typist until she became assistant city treasurer in 2010, after having served us as acting City Clerk-Treasurer for a year while Ortt was in Afghanistan on military leave..
After Ortt returned, he was soon elected Mayor. Ortt was sworn in as State Senator on New Year's Day. The position of clerk/treasurer became vacant as of December 31 when Kiedrowski, our elected City Clerk-Treasurer, resigned to take the position in Albany with Ortt. .
The Common Council is seeking a permanent replacement for Kiedrowski and expects to interview candidates this week.
We would hope, since we are naïve enough to believe that the Common Council members are elected to serve us, that Proefrock would be one of those interviewed for the position and given serious consideration. Perhaps it is too logical that we should have someone run that office for us who has actually worked in it and done work for us for fifteen years.
We hope that the "permanent" doesn't negate the fact that the voters should at least get a chance to give their opinions in the voting booth in November about who fills the City Clerk-Treasurer position.
If the person selected by the Common Council is not Proefrock, we hope that whomever they hand feed into the position will have a college education and experience in some similar role.
Since at least 1994, we had been efficiently and effectively served in the City Clerk's office and the City Clerk portion of the combined City Clerk-Treasurer office by Catherine P. Gambino. She began as an accounting clerk. By 2010 she had been promoted to assistant city clerk. By 2014, she probably got fed up with doing the work of the people being highly compensated for the City Clerk role and must have retired. She is missed by the residents she served so well.
The voters elected Pappas to serve as Alderman at Large but a serious number of the voters voted instead for James McGinniss, Jr. Our naïve logic as residents, voters and taxpayers leads us to the conclusion that McGinniss should be the first person invited to fill that role.
We also have lost a marvelously efficient and dedicated--and user friendly--City Assessor Flora D. Carozzolo, to retirement. She had worked under previous Assessor Brian Hess. That position has now been filled by the Common Council with another Assessor's office employee, Barbara Klenke, who worked under Flora Carozzolo in the position that Carozzolo has retired from. Carozzolo is missed by the residents she served so well.
Before the cold temperatures and road salt have begun taking their toll, if you have a street or a section of one that you feel needs attention by our "new administration," you should report it to the Department of Public Works at 695-8585 and to Mayor Pappas at 695-8540, You may also email him at email@example.com. You are also welcome to send an e-mail to me at the Reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can list the streets in need of work this year in this column. Do remember to report all potholes. You can let us know that you have done so in order that we can monitor what happens with your official complaint.