Who Is Jim Lawson?


Why Is He Running for the Office of West Seneca Town Supervisor?

New Perspective, New Ideas, Better Government

I am running for public office because I believe the path to our town’s future is through bold ideas offered by fresh faces.  I have not previously served as a West Seneca government Elected official, but through my business interests and civic efforts as a school board member, I have served our community.  I have held summer positions for the town in many capacities as I grew up; buildings and grounds, highway and recreation positions. Later I served as a Youth Director developing and running programs such as Summer Camp, Band and Movie Night, Haunted Hay Ride Halloween events. I want to utilize the lessons I learned in those experiences to make West Seneca the growing, sustainable community we all seek and, I believe, we all deserve. West Seneca is a great place to live and raise a family. I want my children to stay and live here.

As a first step in accomplishing our shared goals, I believe that we must declare war on taxes.  The days and years of double-digit tax hikes, of a spiraling tax burden weighing down our residents, hampering our businesses and discouraging people from coming to live and work in our town, must end.

I have the ideas, ability and resolve to declare this war, direct its strategy, and deliver a victory to West Seneca families and business in the form of lowering taxes.  On this matter, during my campaign, I will offer unique, forward-looking plans that I’ve been researching and developing for several years.

As a citizen, business owner, husband, and father, I’ve developed certain core beliefs about local government, its nature and purpose, and how it can best serve people. Among them are:

  • 2% local tax cap
  • Home improvement exemption
  • First time Home Buyers “Mortgage Principal Reduction” through HUD
  • Aggressive economic development and marketing of what our town can offer new, green, forward-looking business and employers
  • Term limits for all town elected officials, including supervisor
  • Open, transparent government, with citizens’ full access to all decision-making
  • Participatory budget process, with exhaustive opportunity for citizen input and ideas
  • Robust public-privet partnerships – government must access and utilize the wisdom and experience of every town entity and individual
  • Full cooperation and collaboration among West Seneca four most important institutions: government, schools, local businesses & first responders
  • Environment – with the present Town Board CUTTING recycling services I will focus on education Reduce, Reuse and Recycle 
  • I will be PROACTIVE, not reactive with our environment. i.e. ICE JAMS flooding our communities. A finger system to break-up the ice jam up stream done with federal state funding  
  • Pets – WS has many great parks. Why don’t we have a dog park? Why is the Town Board dragging their paws? I will propose and support expanding domestic pet ownership laws.
  • Expansion of town Open FOIL process and procedure. I was taken back when at a Burchfield volunteer meeting a volunteer asked a present town councilman for the Forensic Engineers Report done to establish a baseline on what is wrong with the building. He stated he had seen a copy forensic audit and the volunteer would have to FOIL for the report if they wanted read it. Open FOIL would have it posted on the town web site as soon as it came out.
  • Establishment of a Historical Preservation Committee. The town board has been dragging its feet for over a year. It is a committee set up to identify local landmarks that past or present that is significant to WS. They may receive a designation, or a plaque and the homeowner could receive state or federal funding when making an improvement to their property.

I am the owner and president of Real Property Management of Greater Buffalo, I manage the residential and commercial property for clients throughout WNY for owners all over the world.

I graduated from Buffalo State College in 1985, with a degree in economics.  I served as a member of the West Seneca School Board from 1997 to 2000, was Youth program director for the West Seneca Youth Bureau in 2000 to 2007, and served as chairman of the County of Erie Youth Board Chairmen 2003 to 2007.

I live in West Seneca with my wife Theresa (Ziarnowski) and children Sarah (a Pioneer District School Teacher) and Nathan. The Lawson family is, in every way, a West Seneca family. My father, Dick Lawson, served on the recreation commission in the 1970’s.  My brother, Bob, was a West Seneca police officer and my brother, Dave developed the WS Soccer Complex.  In addition, I have a sister Karen Ryan, and another brother, Ted, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel. I grew up in West Seneca and my family has lived and worked for generations here. We need to be wary of carpetbaggers coming into our community, thinking they know better than we do, of how to move OUR community forward.

Truth be told, if you told me two years ago that I would be a candidate for Town Supervisor, I would have said you were crazy.  But our present political climate of anger and partisanship made me realize that today we all must act, not talk; engage, not criticize; and most important, think and listen, not just express opinions. We all must stand for what we believe is right and not be told by someone else what to do and who to vote for. One person one vote. 

I believe in the strength of our town.  West Seneca is a great place to live and raise a family. And I believe in the wisdom of our citizens.  And by engaging and including the experience and know-how all West Seneca residents in the decision-making process of our government, together we will succeed and prosper.

I hope you will consider joining me and work together for the future of West Seneca