Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 21, 2013

CITY SPENDING: 'Tradition' continues for council meals


Niagara Gazette —

Council members who regularly attend the dinners noted that such meals have been covered by the city for years. They also suggested that because the meals are relatively low in cost they are not the type of items the council and Mayor Paul Dyster’s administration were looking to control through the spending freeze.

Choolokian argued that he and other lawmakers put in full-time hours despite only being paid $12,000. He described the Gazette’s questions about the meals as “nickel and diming.”

“It’s less than minimum wage,” he said. “I think that if we wanted to point fingers we could look at a lot of things the mayor is doing.”

Anderson also bristled at questions about the council’s dining habits, saying there are other areas of the city budget that are far more pressing. 

“It’s a joke,” he said. “You’re talking about chump change.”

Anderson also pointed to the council members’ part-time salary, saying that for the council to get a meal between sessions is a small perk for a very tough job.

“Eight grand is not a lot of money when you’re spending on gas and telephone bills,” Anderson said.

The council bought meals from three local restaurants last year, including the Como, Donatello’s Restaurant and the Waldorf Niagara, with the funds being spent out of the council’s budgeted line for “local meetings,” according to the financial records.

Fruscione said all council meals have occurred at restaurants in the Falls. 

“It’s a good way to reinvest in locally owned businesses,” he argued.

Grandinetti said she didn’t want to “pick on” the other council members who continue to attend the dinners, but said she feels that giving up the perk is a gesture of leadership and the right thing to do under the financial circumstances facing the city. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
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

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results