Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 17, 2013

County lawmakers battle over NTCC funding

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Updegrove’s statement called out Percy personally, accusing the CEO of “orchestrating” a pro-NTCC lobbying effort by panicked tour attraction operators. Letters supplied by Percy were signed by the operators and mailed to their county legislators.

Percy defended the letter-writing campaign by tour operators, saying more than 60 of them countywide agreed to sign and mail one to their legislator. He added that the campaign got started after a legislator told him that county leaders wanted to hear from NTCC’s “constituents,” not just agency personnel, regarding the value of the county’s contract with it.

Percy said a few dozen operators voluntarily “expanded” on his base letter with personalized testimonials, and statistics showing the growth they’ve enjoyed while being promoted by NTCC. The operators of several wineries, the Maid of the Mist, the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours, Fort Niagara, the Herschell Carousel Museum and Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises were among them.

“How could I put fear into 60 companies to do this?” Percy asked.

NTCC’s proposed 15-year contract with the county was drafted by agency staff and volunteers including its attorney, Percy, CFO Pamela Fekete and executive board members. It’s largely the same as the existing contract, with a few “tweaks,” Percy said.

Those tweaks include a longer term and — to address critics’ complaints about the legitimacy of agency self-reported statistics on local tourism growth and returns on investments — a proposal to have NTCC’s performance evaluated by an “outside” monitor every three years, Percy said. Terms say that upon a poor performance review, the county could exit the contract and cut off NTCC’s funding.

A one-year extension of the existing contract won’t help NTCC be “proactive” in promoting the county, Percy said. The groundwork for certain programs is being laid three to four years in advance.

“Our constituents, meaning the hotel, attraction and event operators, will suffer greatly if programming is not effective for more than one year,” he said.

use mug of Dennis Virtuoso in the system Dennis Virtuoso Says politics at play

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
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
Poll

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