SPANBAUER: A New Direction for OUR City Council in Niagara Falls

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John Spanbauer, Candidate for Niagara Falls City Council


By: John Spanbauer

NF City Council Candidate

I write to the citizens of Niagara Falls to inform them why I am running for a seat on the City Council. My reason is simple; I am running for City Council for one reason and one reason only. I believe I can make Niagara Falls a better city. I want to do that because the city has been good to me and my family. I have enjoyed living here, and I want to see this city thrive! Hopefully, I can help to improve this city by being elected to the City Council. 

I want to take this opportunity to talk about my campaign slogan, which is: “New Leader. New Vision. New Direction.” These words will guide my actions as a councilman.  

New Leader

If elected, I promise I will exhibit moral and ethical courage. I will set a positive example for everyone in city government.   I will demonstrate a leadership style that draws on my 30-plus years of experience in administration, in development and implementation of budgets, in the supervision of employees and facilities, and in relying on negotiating skills that allowed me to be a successful administrator at Niagara University.

I’m motivated by the words of Arthur Schoellkopf, who was elected mayor of Niagara Falls in 1896. His campaign slogan was this: “Municipal government is business, not politics.” I will take the advice of Schoellkopf and operate the city of Niagara Falls more like a business.  I will use the skillset I obtained in the private sector to operate government like a business. In the private sector, it is understood that when expenses exceed revenues, changes have to be made. I have been a part of tough budgetary decisions, and will guarantee our residents that I will do my best to ensure that the leadership of this city operates in a fiscally responsible manner.  

I have a style of leadership that demands accountability, but it also promotes cooperation in working with elected officials, our business partners, and city residents.   

New Vision

As we all know, the city has problems. I like to call them challenges, and challenges are nothing more than difficult situations in search of solutions. No matter whether city leaders are Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, or whatever party they are affiliated with, we must all work together to find remedies for the things that prevent our city from thriving.  

We can cite many reasons for the problems the city has faced. My vision to solve these problems and to make the city successful is to have our leaders working together in a bipartisan manner to arrive at decisions that are in the best interests of the taxpayers of Niagara Falls. 

My vision sees us maximizing the talents and experiences of each officeholder to ensure that Niagara Falls improves in all aspects of city government.  The city needs to regain the respect of all who deal with it. First and foremost, we need to regain the respect of the citizens we are elected to represent.  We should not make decisions to satisfy outside interest groups or simply to make people happy. Rather, we have to make decisions that are in the best interest of the city and our taxpayers.   

I have a vision that sees Niagara Falls revitalized and redeveloped.  This will not happen overnight, but it can and should happen. The city 20 miles upriver is doing it, without a Niagara Falls, so if Buffalo can do it there is no reason why our city can’t.

New Direction

The next four years are critically important for the future of Niagara Falls, where some good things are happening. But if we are to move the city in a positive direction, we must first stop the “bleeding” of this financially strapped city.  

If elected, I believe I can assist in transforming the way our city leadership works. The direction we need to move toward is one that finds our city leadership working as a highly effective group. I hope to lead the city in a direction that will lead to success, thus gaining for the city the respect needed to ensure its future as a wonderful place in which to live, work and invest . 

I have been asked by many people if I really think I can make a difference as an elected official.  I answer the question with this quotation I came across:

“One person can make a difference. In fact, it’s not only possible for one person to make a difference, it’s essential that one person makes a difference. And believe it or not, that person is you. The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Yes, I am the crazy person who thinks I can change the way the city of Niagara Falls works. I am a novice politician, and I know I have much to learn. But, if elected, I will work diligently to solve our city’s problems. I will be a leader who will seek the new direction that is needed.  I firmly believe that the city I love will be much better led with John Spanbauer serving as your representative on the Niagara Falls City Council.  Please help me help you by voting for me for a seat on the Niagara Falls City Council. 


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