NIAGARA FALLS – Ezra P. Scott Jr., a substitute teacher in Niagara Falls, is running for City Council in the Democratic primary which is Sept. 10.
If elected, he will be the third council person who is a school teacher which would give Niagara Falls School District employees a majority control of the five member city council.
School teachers Andrew Touma and Kristen Grandinetti are on the council and each has two and one half years remaining on their four year terms.
Scott, 29, is one of four Democrats who will seek one of two open seats on the council this year, which means, in order to run in the general election, he has to be one of two top vote getters among the four Democratic candidates when registered Democrats come out to vote, which few of them typically do – about 25 percent in 2011 - in the primary election.
The primary will be held this year on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
Scott is running against Alicia M. Laible, the former City Democratic Committee chairwoman, who ran for council and narrowly lost in 2011 to Councilmember Glenn A. Choolokian; she enjoyed support from Mayor Paul A. Dyster, who also ran and won reelection in 2011.
This year Laible has chosen to run a campaign entirely distant from the Dyster campaign.
She has indicated that her experience in human resources and budgeting at the Elderwood Senior Care, where she is employed, would have made her qualified and capable of avoiding the $7.6 million deficit the city, under the administration of Paul Dyster, has crafted.
His current council majority of Andrew Touma, Kristen Grandinetti and Charles Walker have consistently approved of almost all Dyster spending proposals.
Scott, who is supported by Dyster and Grandinetti, is also running against City Planning Board Chairman, and retiree, Rick D. Smith, and incumbent Robert A. Anderson, also a retiree, also Democrats – but not aligned with Dyster.
Both have said that Dyster squandered a literal casino fortune with nothing to show but a bunch of happy consultants and Buffalo developers.
Dyster says he needs four more years to complete the task he has started and wants Scott on the council so that he has a veto-proof council for spending on all matters he deems needful for the city’s recovery.
According to the city charter, the council’s main function is to approve or reject spending proposals and contracts proposed by the mayor.
The two winners in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary will appear on the ballot for the party and will likely face two Republicans: business owner/home inspector/contractor, Willie A. Price, and Kenny M. Tompkins, who is operations manager for H.W. Bryk & Sons, a local plumbing and heating contractor.
Glenn Choolokian eschewed running to keep his seat on the council and chose to run instead in the Democratic primary for mayor against Dyster.
Scott is a Niagara Catholic High School graduate who received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from SUNY Cortland in 2010.