GOP Chairman Says Niagara Falls Needs New Leadership

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By: Tony Farina

John Spanbauer, a lifelong resident of Niagara Falls and former administrator at Niagara University, has announced his intention to seek a seat on the Niagara Falls City Council. He will run on the Republican line in the upcoming primary election.

In making his first bid for a council seat, Spanbauer, 59, said he believes the city needs strong leaders who will come to the table with new ideas. “I look forward to being an independent voice on the council, representing our youth, seniors, veterans, and all the neighborhoods of the city,” he said.

Spanbauer holds a Master’s in Education from Niagara University, where he is currently an adjunct professor in the College of Hospitality and Tourism Management and a part-time supervisor with the school’s recreation department. He started his career in 1983 at the Niagara Falls YMCA as Director of Youth and Director of Program Operations, before he began his distinguished tenure as a full-time administrator at Niagara University in 1988, overseeing the recreation facilities and club sports program. In addition to his responsibilities, Spanbauer was also a member of the University’s Crisis Response Team, Title IX Investigator, Chair of the University Building Safety Team, and Chair for the Club Sports Advisory Committee. He also served on many Human Resource search committees and is a graduate of the Leadership Niagara program.

Actively involved in the community, Spanbauer, a LaSalle resident, volunteers at St. George’s community outreach programs and for the WNY Special Olympics basketball program. He served as a trip leader for a service mission to Panama with Niagara University’s Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Spanbauer is a past member of the Niagara County Community College Health Advisory Board and the Niagara Falls Human Rights Commission. He is a current board member of the Hyde Park Golf Club.

Spanbauer is the recipient of numerous services awards, including Big Brother of the Year from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and the Vincentian Mission Award which is given annually to a Niagara University employee who demonstrates the values of St. Vincent DePaul in serving people’s basic spiritual, material, and education needs.

“My goals as a city council member would be to focus on fiscal responsibility both in expenditures and revenues,” Spanbauer said. “I will fight to restore and improve core city services such as street and park maintenance and address public safety issues, as well as expand recreation services for youth and adults. I also want to see a highly functional relationship between members of the city council and the city’s administration, while giving residents a bigger voice in our government.” 

“I pledge to be the checks and balances for the tax payer and a change agent for the city of Niagara Falls,” Spanbauer concluded. “I have always been an independent voice and will bring that independence to the city council.” 


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