NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — North Tonawanda’s mayoral battle is gaining intensity, with two weeks until the November election.
Fliers sent to North Tonawanda residents claim Democratic candidate Austin Tylec lied about the financial status of the city. Tylec held a press conference Tuesday to address these statements, insisting that he never referred to the city as “bankrupt,” but does say there are issues with the budget.
“North Tonawanda averaged a $1.1 million budget gap in 2017, 2018, and 2019. The city balanced the budget by relying on one-shot revenues.”
Tylec blames the fliers on Republican candidate Bob Pecoraro, who claims he had nothing to do with the situation.
“Other residents got them in their mailboxes yesterday. [That] was the first time I saw that mailer,” said Pecoraro.
Pecoraro also argues NT’s budget is in fine shape.
“North Tonawanda’s new budget is under the tax cap. It is also able to bring in additional dollars to help our reserve funds.”
While Pecoraro denies any involvement in the campaign, he doesn’t disagree with what the fliers read.
“The mailer came out from the Republican campaign. He calls it a ‘smear campaign.’ I call it full of facts.”
Tylec is confident the pamphlets will not affect voters.
“If he and his team continue to do it, then so be it. I think North Tonawanda sees beyond it, and people have been pretty vocal online about how they’re over these kinds of smears.”
Both candidates are looking to replace retiring Mayor Arthur Pappas on November 2, 2021.