Niagara Gazette

February 17, 2013

Fruscione's announcement violating election law called a "mistake."

Staff Reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Niagara Falls City Councilman Sam Fruscione believes he deserves a third term in office.

However, Fruscione’s bid got off to a rocky start. Violating election law, his first official campaign announcement was “accidentally” sent out on City of Niagara Falls letterhead, complete with the city’s seal and the words “Office of the City Council” at the top.

He said he made a mistake, typing up the release himself and attaching it to the incorrect template on his computer. He then circulated his campaign statement without double-checking to make sure he followed election law, which prohibits incumbents from using their office to campaign.

He said he’s constantly telling his students to check and double-check their work before turning it in for a grade, something he wishes he’d done.

“I didn’t follow my own rule,” he said Saturday. “I was more interested in the content and wasn’t paying attention to the letterhead I used. But as soon as I realized what happened, I stopped it.”

Fruscione’s campaign will begin with the first community event of his campaign will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. March 14 at The Vault, 8676 Buffalo Ave. The fundraiser will feature live jazz by Pappy Martin. Admission will be $

In the press release issued Thursday, Fruscione, a four-time chairman of the city council, made clear his intentions in seeking reelection. He said the city’s facing several challenges in the immediate future and his track record as a “taxpayer watchdog” is the best way to address them.

“Our hometown is facing serious challenges,” he said. “The casino revenue impasse, public safety, the growing budget shortfall and the almost desperate need for increased demolitions and ‘blight-fight’ are just the tip of a very troubling iceberg.”

A teacher at Harry F. Abate Elementary, Fruscione said Niagara Falls is facing several tough decisions which could put the city either on the road to recovery or move it into further decline. 

He said one way to ensure the future is to do everything possible to keep taxes on existing residents and businesses as low as possible. As council chairman, he said, there was never a tax levy increase, which he hopes to see the city continue to achieve.

“In a struggling city during challenging economic times, it was unconscionable that we would have dropped yet more taxes on our residents,” he said. “I think you can draw a straight line from that sort of thinking to the recent budget proposed by the mayor that would have raised taxes again. We have to work to grow the tax base and stop taxing the existing tax base to death.”

He said he’s also worked to amend and improve downtown vending laws, change the downtown signage law, guard the Jayne Park environment and bring diversity to the library board. He said he’s also emphasized efforts to take the city’s streets back from criminals, working with councilmen Glen Choolokian and Bob Anderson and police Superintendent Bryan DalPorto on various funding issues.

He also cited his early support for 2012 highlight Nik Wallenda and the nationally-televised walk over the falls this past June.

Mug of Fruscione, Sam Sam Fruscione Seeking re-election