Longtime community activist and former Erie County Legislator, Timothy J. Whalen, formally announced today that he will be a candidate for the Buffalo Common Council, representing the constituents of the South District.
The South District Buffalo Common Council seat is newly vacated due to the successful election of Council Member, Michael “Mickey” Kearns, to the New York State 145th Assembly District seat, that was formerly held by Mark Schroeder.
Whalen, 53, has been a lifelong resident of South Buffalo and comes from a long line of respected public officials. His brother, Jerry Whalen, is a justice of the New York State Supreme Court, representing the 8th Judicial District.
His grandfather, Gerald A. Whalen, held the position of South District Councilman in the City of Buffalo. In 1960, Tim’s grandfather ran for the office of Erie County Executive. His father, Gerald J. Whalen, held the positions of both South District Councilman and Councilman at Large in the City of Buffalo.
In December of 2010, Whalen was appointed to the Erie County Legislature, after a nearly unanimous vote of recommendation from the South Buffalo, the Village of Sloan and Southwest Cheektowaga committeemen and committeewomen. He served as an Erie County Legislator for one year. During his time spent as legislator, Tim was elected Chair of the Economic Development Committee, Vice-Chair of the Public Safety Committee, and held an active role as a member of the Finance and Management Committee, as well as the Energy and Environment Committee. After fulfilling the remaining time frame allotted for the appointment of his legislative seat, Whalen was unable to run for election to a full term because the Erie County Legislature was downsized from 15 to 11 members. The reapportionment decision made by U.S. District Court Judge, William M. Skretny, drastically altered the map, eliminating Whalen’s district.
The appointment for the South District Common Council seat will be formally made by a vote of all the Council members that make up the body of the Buffalo Common Council. Whalen will deliver his formal letter of application requesting the appointment to the City Clerk this week. He stated that he plans to run in November for the remaining three years of the term, and will seek the Democratic endorsement.
Tim is one of seven children. He has four sisters: Margaret, Susan, Annmarie, and Casey. His sister Margaret, was a member of the first class of women firefighters in Buffalo and was the first female Deputy Commissioner of the Buffalo Fire Department. Margaret’s husband and Tim’s brother-in-law, James “Jim” Keane, held the position of South District Councilman for many years. Besides his brother Jerry, Tim had another brother, Raymond, who worked as a Firefighter in the City of Buffalo. Raymond Whalen, died in the line of duty at the age of 30, in the year 1985.
Tim and his wife Cindy reside on McKinley Pkwy in South Buffalo, and are the proud parents of four children: Rita, Heather, Raymond and Timothy.
Whalen is already reaching out to the Common Council leaders who will be filling the vacancy, party leaders, the committeemen and committeewomen and all the stakeholders who comprise the South District. He stated, “I am interested in sharing ideas and concepts that people in my neighborhood would like to see put forward, as a potential representative for the Common Council. I did the best I could in my short tenure on the Legislature and would have been proud to face the voters and defend my record. Hopefully, I will have that same opportunity, come this fall, as a member of the South District Common Council.”