Niagara Gazette

Columns

November 18, 2012

GUEST VIEW: Transparency needed from Niagara Falls City Council

Niagara Gazette — Politicians make promises during campaigns. We talk about being a voice for the public, and being honest with you.

Unfortunately, politicians can change between the campaign and the actual job. It happens quietly, as they do not want you to notice. The Niagara Falls City Council is led by two councilmen, Fruscione and Choolokian, who no longer value that government transparency and honesty.

As in the past, Fruscione will say that my comments are “politically motivated.” Clearly, I am a politician, and so is he. When I ran three years ago I told people I would be honest and voice my opinion. If he sees that as political, so be it.

In recent months, major decisions have been made by the city council without enough public dialogue. This is unacceptable to me as a councilwoman and a taxpayer. This guest view gives details on specific issues, and asks questions that I want answered.

Public works fees and fire protection assessment: Fruscione and Choolokian introduced a resolution to supposedly tax the casino and state park for public works and fire protection service. No municipality can tax sovereign nations or state parks, and both councilmen know that. No lawyers will comment on the resolution, because the plan would put the city in court and not create revenues. The councilmen are taking advantage of your frustration. Fruscione and Choolokian are betting that you will forget that the plan was unenforceable and shortsighted, but remember that they favor “tuff” policies during election time. We need realistic ideas, not “tuff” dead-ends. I voted against it because grandstanding on illegal policy is bad government.

Train station budget: Fruscione and Choolokian have continuously delayed the train station project. The council already approved the whole project, with millions in federal dollars already under contract. The delay only hurts hundreds of local trades people and residents that should already be at the job site. The councilmen never make their objections clear, and just continued to table the item and avoid questions from the press. My questions: Councilmen, do you understand that construction projects have schedules? Is your goal to show the federal government that we do not want construction funding and jobs?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Bringing your own parts to repair shop is a bad idea The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Neither long ago, nor far away ... If you did not catch documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' latest masterpiece, "The Address" on PBS last night, it will be well worth your time to look for the re-run, or to find it online as soon as possible.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals New York is one of two states â€" North Carolina being the other â€" that automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in misdemeanor and felony cases. Other states do so only on a conditional basis at the whim of the presiding judge.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: Gothic architecture -- a fitting structure for church services Before we get involved in the new church building, we need to know what happened to the former structure on First Street which was utilized for St. Peter's Church services for 30 years until 1880 when the present stone church was ready for use.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • GLYNN: Local interest mounts in India's big election A number of people whose families have emigrated from India to the U.S. -- a solid sector of the hotel and restaurant business in the Niagara area -- are expected to hear a message today directly from the homeland.

    April 13, 2014

  • SINGER: Locating the next Shaq or Bird? With hallowed college hoops programs thriving around here, plus March NCAA games held in Buffalo (featuring champ-to-be UConn, upstart Dayton and a winnowed 'Cuse), will some new Shaq or Bird be located?

    April 13, 2014

  • Rick Pfeiffer COPS NOTEBOOK: Road rage and turkey shooting

    It would be fair to say Ryan Jackson, of Youngstown, has had a difficult couple of weeks.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Chronicling crime on the 'Island' Why is Rick Pfeiffer never around when you need him? The guy whose cubicle we shared during the Koop-Jasen-Rice era at Channel 4 now carefully chronicles criminals for the Gazette, notably those a few flakes short of Raisin Bran, but his crime wave is a mere ripple compared to ours.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page