OLEAN, NY — Two candidates, Reed McElfresh and David Anastasia, are challenging each other for the open Ward 7 Alderman seat on the Olean Common Council.

McElfresh is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines; Anastasia is running on the Democratic and Working Family lines. Ward 7 Alderman Brian George is not seeking re-election.

Anastasia held the Ward 7 Alderman seat from 1985 to 1995 before his election to the Cattaraugus County Legislature, where he served for 12 years. McElfresh is a business analyst at Iroquois Group in Allegany. His father, Earl McElfresh, was an alderman in Olean and a Cattaraugus County legislator.

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 “A lot of the city’s brownfields, which are areas that are difficult to develop because there was industrial dumping, are in the ward,” McElfresh said.

He added that he hopes to continue the development of brownfields, which entails cleaning up those industrial areas so that they can be built on. The results should be job creation and revenue generation.

Anastasia said because he knows the background of Ward 7, he can focus on the concerns of its citizens. It is important for him to be responsive to his constituents.

“With my political background, I wouldn’t have to learn the system. I already know it,” Anastasia said.

The winner of the election will serve a two-year term. Aldermen are responsible for citywide issues as well as specific concerns within their wards, such as budgeting, zoning and working with aldermen from different wards.

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