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West Seneca downsizing heads to the courts

   Nothing comes easy here.

   After the Erie County Board of Elections invalidated petitions aimed at reducing the size of the West Seneca Town Board, the man who headed the petition drive saw it as politics as usual.

   "I think politicians' desperation is starting to show here," says Kevin Gaughan, who had hoped that West Seneca would become the poster child for reduced government.

   But Democratic Elections Commissioner Dennis Ward says because the petitions deal with such an unusual part of the law, there must be a strict interpretation of the statute. The petitions did not follow the law, and the measure cannot be put before voters this November, he said.

   There are two options available to petition supporters, according to Ward: challenge the issue in court, or solicit signatures on a new petition.

   Gaughan says he's not going to circulate new petitions. So that leaves Western New Yorkers to follow another court challenge.

  -- Barbara O'Brien

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