Niagara Gazette

Local News

September 4, 2013

Fruscione mailer makes waves

(Continued)

Andrea Czop, Hamister Group's director of communications, said Wednesday the company will reserve comment on the mailer for the time being.

The flip side of the postcard relates to Fruscione and describes him as protecting taxpayers by joining members of the council majority in a vote to table the deal in July. It also lauds him for asking "tough questions" about the proposal. 

Fruscione said that while he is mentioned on the campaign mailer, he did not finance it, nor did his campaign committee. He said it is not uncommon for political action groups to anonymously finance and distribute such material and he suspects that is the case here. He noted that in recent weeks he was the target of a similar piece of anonymous campaign literature that questioned his involvement in a downtown souvenir shop that counts T-shirts and DVDs depicting mob figures among its list of items available for sale. 

"We have both been victims in the last couple of weeks of ignorance and using inappropriate words in mailers from despicable people," Fruscione said, referring to himself and Hamister.

As to comments made about Hamister on the postcard, Fruscione described them as "kind of harsh" and said he does not condone them, nor does he believe they are fair to the developer. He said that although he does have some issues with the proposed hotel agreement, he does not have issues with Hamister himself. 

"I don't support some of the words they used for sure," Fruscione said. "I had nothing to do with it."

One of the council majority's main sticking points has been the price Hamister Group would be expected to pay for the land under the terms of the proposed deal. The proposal includes an asking price of $100,000 for the land, which is below the assessed value of $215,000 and far below the $1.5 million figure Fruscione and Choolokian believe it to be worth.

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