Niagara Gazette

Opinion

July 1, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Lower taxes should be focus of casino cash

Niagara Gazette — As a candidate for Niagara Falls City Council in the upcoming November general election I would like to share a few thoughts and briefly state what I believe we need to do to strengthen our city as a place to live and work.

I’m not going to use good newspaper space to turn this article into a civics lecture debating the powers of the city council versus the powers of the mayor. Niagara Falls needs a lot of things but one thing it doesn’t need is another candidate writing another article explaining how local government should work. Ask the average taxpayer how government should work. They may not be able to recite from their ninth grade civics textbook but as taxpayers they know darn well how it’s all supposed to come together for the good of their community.

We recently received good news with the settlement of the casino cash impasse. Niagara Falls is going to receive $89 million. After all city commitments are met and all other participating agencies have received their share of the revenue our city could possibly have $15 million or more left over for city use.

One very important question: How are we going to manage the millions of dollars? If we spend like we did in the past then we’ll have the same problems in the future.

Both mayor and city council are going to have to sit down and work out a casino cash plan that will be open to the public and worked out cooperatively. Both levels of government, mayor and council, will have to have to put their egos and past disagreements aside for the good of this city.

Hindsight is always 20/20 and it’s kind of obvious that the city should have done a better job managing the casino dollars up to this point. The report released by the state comptroller a few weeks ago explained what a bad job the city did of managing the casino cash in the past. But we already knew that. The big question is what are we going do to make sure we don’t get the same results now that we’re getting a second kick at the can?

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