Niagara Gazette


February 21, 2013

EDITORIAL: Niagara Falls City Council majority's 'new direction' same as the old


Niagara Gazette — It’s clear Choolokian, Fruscione and Anderson do not see eye-to-eye with this mayor and, stuck with him now for the next several years, will attempt to do what they feel is necessary to knock him down a few pegs, including trim funding to three groups their constituents clearly support. 

Anderson says it’s not personal. Choolokian and Fruscione insist it’s not political either.

Then, all it can be is what Niagara Falls has been known for far too long now — shortsighted. 

This same group of lawmakers agreed to provide funding for a community policing initiative and $2,500 to a new grassroots organization known as MAD DADs which, coincidently, counts among its members Ron Cunningham, a guy who Fruscione admits helps him with his election campaigns.

They also make no bones about continuing to use taxpayer money to fund their meeting-day meals at local restaurants — get-togethers that include soups, salads, shrimp penne, veal parmesan and whatever else tickles their fancy. 

Clearly there’s some money in the budget for some things. 

There would be even more available to the NACC had the council accepted the Oishei Foundation’s offer.

As one audience member said during Tuesday’s council meeting, there’s almost no point in trying to get it through the heads of the members of the council majority. Their minds are clearly made up. In their eyes, what’s done is done. 

As Gioia said, it is “frustrating” and “very, very disappointing.”

Considering a community desperate for dollars and all tied up in a casino cash mess just turned down what amounts to free money from a prestigious local foundation that’s willing to help, it certainly is. 

The folks in Buffalo — the ones with money and influence who run things like the Oishei Foundation — will do what they always do under the circumstances — shake their heads, wring their hands and ask the age-old question ‘what’s wrong with Niagara Falls?”

A “new direction” indeed.

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