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Jaworowicz to resign from Cheektowaga Town Board

Filed under: Local Politics

Cheektwg insg PC (highRes)Patricia A. Jaworowicz, who is one of the longest standing members of the Cheektowaga Town Board in the town’s history, has submitted her resignation as a Council Member. The resignation will take effect on Wednesday, February 20, 2013. A letter of resignation was hand delivered today by her son Timothy Jaworowicz to the office of the Town Clerk. Town Democratic Chairman Frank Max was also notified of this action.

Ms. Jaworowicz has been dealing with substantial health issues over the past two years. “We were hoping to bring her back to good health, and to return to her desk at Town Hall and fulfill the remaining year of her term,” reported Tim Jaworowicz. “Unfortunately my mom has not gotten better. So she has made the difficult decision that she can no longer continue. For her sake, and for the sake of the people of the Town of Cheektowaga, it be best that she step down from her duties at this time.”

Patricia Jaworowicz concludes her service as Council Member at 31 years, 1 month and 20 days.

Born in 1948, she is a lifelong Cheektowaga resident, grew up in the William Street area, she attended St. Josaphat’s parochial school and Bishop Colton High School. Pat is the proud mother of two children, Pamela and Timothy, and four grandchildren, Daniel, Nicole, Samantha and Jenna.

Jaworowicz began her stint in public service as a young adult. She joined the Cheektowaga Democratic Committee in 1971, and was elected female vice-chair in 1974. In 1976 she was named one of New York State’s 41 electors, who participated in that year’s Electoral College to formally elect Jimmy Carter as the 39th President of the United States.

She joined the ranks of county government in the mid 70s, serving as a member of the central staff of the Erie County Legislature as a senior clerk.

In 1981, Jaworowicz announced her candidacy for the office of Cheektowaga Councilman. No female had ever served in Cheektowaga town government in an elected capacity. She received the endorsement of the Democratic Committee, and handily won the primary and general election that year, and in January of 1982 made history when she took her seat on the Town Board as the first woman ever elected.

Jaworowicz has been re-elected to office seven more times, each time winning the primary and the general election by substantial margins. In each of her eight election attempts, she has garnered the endorsement of the Democratic Party. She has also received endorsements from the Conservative Party, the Right-to-Life Party, the Independence Party and the Working Families Party.

She was the longtime Chairman of the Town Board’s Police and Justice Courts Committee, as well as the Zoning and Planning Committee. Working with then police chief Bruce Chamberlin, Jaworowicz led the modernization of many of the police department’s functions, as well as the overhaul and modernization of the department’s computer function to bring them into the 20th century. She established strict and non political guidelines for recruitment and hiring of police cadets and promotions within the department, so that only the best and brightest would be hired and assigned to protect the town’s citizens.

On the zoning and planning side, Jaworowicz implemented a number of neighborhood wellness and community development programs, many with the intent of stabilizing neighborhoods and combating blight, focusing on the districts that border on the City of Buffalo. She set the table for the eventual overhaul of the 1992 Master Plan and zoning code, a process which had not been undertaken by the town since the 1960s.

In 1987, the Pyramid Companies came into Cheektowaga with plans to build a state-of-the-art new shopping center with 7 anchor stores, 220 retail outlets and 1.2-million square feet of leasable space on two levels. The proposal ignited loud debate within the Town. Jaworowicz remained resolute in her support of the project, which gave Cheektowaga thousands of construction jobs, yet thousands more permanent jobs, and a new stream of property tax and sales tax revenue to the town. The Walden Galleria Mall opened in May of 1989, and has transformed Cheektowaga into the retail epicenter of Western New York. The resulting spinoff of ancillary retail, service and hotel development has brought substantial additional economic development to the town, which continues to this day.

Besides her tenure in government, Jaworowicz also was heavily involved in the community’s civic and cultural fabric. She was a member of the William Street Taxpayers Association, and also served in leadership roles with the Cheektowaga Patriotic Commission, Cheektowaga Symphony Orchestra, Intercouncil of Organizations and the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce.

Jaworowicz will continue to make her home in the Cheektowaga area, where she begins the next phase of her life as a retired person.

Said her son Tim Jaworowicz, “My mom will be dealing with her biggest fight yet as she tackles her health problems, but she is a tough lady. I ask the community to extend her your prayers and your best wishes. And on behalf of my mom and my sister Pam we want to thank the Cheektowaga Town Board for their patience these past few months in dealing with her absence in a professional and uplifting way. Most importantly, we want to thank our fellow residents and voters of Cheektowaga for placing your confidence in her to manage the affairs of town government. You elected her, not once, not twice, but eight times. It’s been a great ride. We hope that Council Member Pat Jaworowicz has fulfilled the standards of excellence and met your expectations.”