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Fellow Islanders,

The year 2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of women in New York State gaining the right to vote. When you vote on November 7, you will get a sticker with a logo created to commemorate the occasion. I’m sure you’ve noticed that three of the Town Council candidates are women. For the first time ever, we may have a majority of women on the Town Board. All of the candidates running for office are fine people. But two of the candidates are particularly qualified, and they just happen to be women: Cyndy Montana and Dr. Celia Spacone.

Cyndy has proven herself in the community and in government. She has spent the past 12 years serving Grand Island. She has helped in nearly every position you can think of—from room mom to PTA President — outside of government. She already has a legacy of achievement on the Island, from the Kaegebein playground initiative she led to the School Capital Project. Cyndy did not come out nowhere.

Cyndy has a business and hospitality background, and has experience with finance, management, and building companies from the ground up. She had a moment of fame for her success turning a goofy idea (making cowboy hats out of beer boxes) into a considerable business, which she went on to sell. Cyndy is definitely shark tank material, but she’s also a farmer’s daughter, born and raised on a dairy farm in Quebec. She will help keep Grand Island free of sprawl and open to agricultural development and growth.

Yes, she worked as my assistant for about a year and half when I first started as Supervisor. But please do not hold that against her. She deserves to be judged as an individual. I believe in her, not because she will help achieve my goals, but because I know she will help us achieve new goals that none of us have even thought of. Most people just see an old beer case, but Cyndy sees a hat. Cyndy sees a business.

Next, we have Dr. Celia Spacone. As Executive Director of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, she has the resume and skill set far beyond your average Town Council Candidate. For 32 years she has helped manage a faculty with six times more employees than we have the Town of Grand Island, and a budget that rivals our town budget. I can’t even imagine what it is like to be in charge of the health and well-being of thousands of patients and to address the concerns of their families.

Dr. Spacone’s extensive education and background at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center puts her on an intellectual and professional level of national politicians. To have that type of person willing to run for office at the town level is such an opportunity for us.

I am imploring you — not as your Supervisor, but as a citizen who deeply wants the best for this Town — to vote for these two strong women. An election should not be a popularity contest. It’s a job interview. You are hiring these people to use and manage your money — millions of dollars of taxpayer money — and your town. So please, choose wisely. Vote for Montana and Dr. Spacone.

Highest regards,
Nate McMurray

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