By Alicia Dziak
In November, the Ellicottville Town Board welcomed its newest member, John Zerfas. “I’ve been making it a point to fill in the blanks and get up to speed as best I can,” Zerfas said.
Zerfas decided to run for the four-year seat when he heard that Rick Jackson would not be running in the November election. He was a member of the Ellicottville Town Planning Board for 17 years, during which time he was a contributing member of various committees updating the Town’s zoning laws and comprehensive plans. Zerfas has also been a 12-year member of the Board of Assessment Review.
“It was about 10 years ago that I first expressed interest in the position,” explained Zerfas. He noted that at the time, he was on the town planning board with current town board member Greg Fitzpatrick; at that time, when he learned of Fitzpatrick’s interest in the position, he stepped back.
Zerfas, who is a fifth generation living in the north end of Ellicottville, said that historically, the town planning board is stepping stone for the town board, and that he intends to stay involved in their work. “The current planning board is well composed with a strong support staff and some new faces,” he said.
Zerfas’ goals as a member of the town board include keeping the town highways in good shape and making improvements for public safety. “I want to identify unsafe highway conditions and intersections that will hopefully lead to corrective actions,” he said.
In addition, Zerfas said he’d like to see more property owners call Ellicottville home. “Maintaining a steady tax base along with an affordable tax rate should make the Ellicottville area a place to live, not just visit,” he said.
Zerfas also said he has been closely monitoring the progress of the New York State Broadband Initiative, and hopes that in the near future, high speed Internet will be available to most of the town. “My intent is to follow through and see that as many homes as possible are served,” he said.
He added, “I’d like to contribute to the past successes of the current and former Town Boards.” Stay tuned to the Ellicottville Times each month for coverage of the Ellicottville Town Board meetings.