DiCostanzo appointed to Niles City Council

Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT — John DiCostanzo is sworn in as a councilman representing the Fourth Ward at Monday's meeting of the Niles City Council.

Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT — John DiCostanzo is sworn in as a councilman representing the Fourth Ward at Monday’s meeting of the Niles City Council.

John DiCostanzo said he had “big shoes to fill” soon after settling into his seat as the newest member of the Niles City Council.

The Fourth Ward seat became vacant when longtime councilman Scott Clark passed away in November.

The city council voted unanimously to appoint DiCostanzo to Clark’s position during Monday’s regular meeting.

“He (Clark) was one of a kind. Nobody is going to replace Scott, but I am here to do my absolute best and extend every effort to do a good job as a representative of the citizens of the Fourth Ward,” DiCostanzo said.

The motion to appoint DiCostanzo — one of 10 applicants for the position — was made by Councilman Tim Skalla, who also represents the Fourth Ward.

The motion was supported by councilman David Mann and then confirmed by a 7-0 vote of the council.

Skalla said he appreciated the amount of quality applicants the council received for the Fourth Ward seat.

“It was exciting to see there was that much interest,” he said.

DiCostanzo is no stranger to public service, having served on the city’s planning commission and board of utilities since 2012.

He said he applied for the seat because he has enjoyed his time serving on both boards and wanted to increase his involvement in city government.

“I am excited for the opportunity,” he said. “It is a big job and I plan on doing my best.”

DiCostanzo said he and his wife, Denise, grew up on Long Island, New York, about 35 miles east of New York City.

They moved to Niles with their two young sons in 1988 in order to improve their quality of life.

He currently works as a quality engineering manager at the AM General Commercial Assembly Plant.

“What I appreciate about Niles is we get a really great value for the tax dollar,” said DiCostanzo, praising the city’s public safety and utilities services.

DiCostanzo said he first crossed paths with Clark when Clark was coaching his sons in little league baseball.

He said they weren’t the type of friends that would go to dinner together, but they would talk when they saw each other around the city.

“He and I share the same political ideologies,” he said. “We would always have a conversation and pretty much be in agreement.”

DiCostanzo’s Fourth Ward seat will be contested in the November election.

He said he plans to file to be on the ballot.

Clerk Linda Casperson said anyone wanting to run for the seat would have to file for the August primary. The deadline is April 19.

 

Buchanan

Local provisioning centers celebrate cannabis holiday with sales, overcome software snags

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 799,140 cases, 16,986 deaths

Dowagiac

DUS to install classroom phones in elementary schools, high school

Berrien County

Berrien County 4-H Leaders Association sets annual meeting

Dowagiac

DUS Board of Education honors Class of 2021 Top 10

Buchanan

Buchanan HCU member center lands new leadership

Berrien County

United Way of Southwest Michigan invites community to honor leaders during National Volunteer Week

Buchanan

Buchanan provisioning center raises money to fight cannabis injustices

Cass County

Cass County Sheriff’s Office K9 finds home invasion, larceny suspect

Berrien County

UPDATE: Sheriff’s office finds missing Niles man

Brandywine Education

Teacher resigns after allegedly soliciting 14-year-old

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 793,881 cases, 16,901 deaths

Business

Cassopolis to welcome first marijuana dispensary

Berrien County

Merritt Elementary hosting pet supply drive for area shelters

Dowagiac

SMC psychology panel provides pandemic perspective

Berrien County

South Bend man sentenced for meth possession in Niles Township

Berrien County

GateWay Services to become Center for Growth and Independence

Buchanan

Cannavista Wellness, Common Citizen launch 420 charitable fundraiser

News

Niles Police Log: April 8-15

Dowagiac

Retired Dowagiac resident returns to teaching at 80

Cass County

Report finds problem-solving courts help lower recidivism, unemployment rates

Business

Yarn on Front owner shares how she adapted, overcame pandemic squeeze

Dowagiac

DUS graduate raising money for independent film project

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary Club excited to bring ‘welcome’ sign to community