Among them is a changing of the guard in local government, the day that those elected in November assume the roles that the voters gave them.
Of those changes, is a significant shift in power in the town of Royalton, with Jennifer Bieber making the accession to supervisor after having served as a town board member.
For the January interview we meet with our new supervisor to assess her new role and our community.
You are the first woman supervisor in a town that's nearly 200 years old, a town that produced a women's' rights leader in Belva Lockwood no less. It must be an awesome feeling to achieve that milestone....
I have to say, one of my historical society members said to me, "you would have made Belva proud". I was surprised myself how much that meant to me, I had never thought of it that way before. I have 2 quotes on my desk..."Well behaved Women never make history" and "If you want something done, ask a busy woman." I think those are 2 things Belva and I probably had in common.
You've now become the face of Royalton and, in effect, our #1 salesperson. What attributes make our town so attractive to new residents and new businesses?
In my eyes, Royalton is the greatest place on earth. This town has so much to offer for new residents. We have our local farmers that produce everything from milk to fruit and vegetables, home grown beef and even places to pick up a dozen eggs. We have the greatest places to order a pizza, meet friends for breakfast or for a drink and wings. You can go out for a nice fancy supper, pick up prescriptions or bread and lunch meat. Buy American...yes, Buy Royalton...YES! Everything you would need, is right here in our own back yard.
We have our Master Plan done for the Town and we have areas in the town that are identified for new business. I think that's a great thing to have those areas planned and work with companies that would like to come and set up here. We have a great work force right here locally that could support new business.
What are some of the goals you've set for yourself and the town as supervisor?
Eyes to the future! We need to keep taxes within reason and spend within our means. We also have to keep in mind that we have an old sewer and water infrastructure that will need replacement and repairs. We have a town wide water district to complete some day. That doesn't get done by planning year by year. We need a plan for our future. We need to be prepared to make improvements and to work together. I'd like to see us work on the Master Plan and implement some of the goals that have been identified. I can find a silver lining in any situation, I will stay positive and have open lines of communication. I will be accessible to all. I will also make it a priority to get back to residents in a timely matter.
Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I have lived in Royalton my whole life. I'm a 7th generation Royalton resident. My dad, Wayne Bruning, was a dairy farmer and our agricultural roots are very important to me. I will turn 42 years old on January 1.
My husband, Jesse, is the Town Historian. For the record, he has been Town Historian longer than I've been on the board. We have been married 23 years. We have two children, Joshua and Jolene. We are all Royalton Hartland Graduates.
I have been employed at Verizon for 22 years and I work full time in North Tonawanda. For those that are wondering the Town Supervisor job is strictly a part time position. Most of the Town Supervisors in the county have full time jobs outside of being supervisor.
I serve on the Board of Directors at Cornell Cooperative Extension. I participate every year in the Ride for Roswell. I am also the president of the Royalton Historical Society.