Niagara Gazette

Opinion

March 3, 2014

GUEST VIEW: Political spin can distort reality

Niagara Gazette — Political spin like addictive drugs tend to distort reality. And though political spin isn’t addictive, it does tend to give you a giant headache, and leave you with a burning desire for truthful disclosure of the facts. Distorted facts are a byproduct of political spin. Nowhere is this more evident than former Lewiston Republican chair Bob Ciszewski’s characterization of those involved with the oversight, management and spending of Lewiston’s finances as “good stewards of public finance.”

Anyone who reads the 2011 comptroller’s audit report and comes away believing the public finances of the Lewiston taxpayer was overseen and spent properly is not only distorting reality but playing fast and loose with the facts. The audit report clearly states these gentlemen failed to exercise their fiduciary responsibility causing thousands, maybe, hundreds of thousands of public finances to be mismanaged, misused and misspent. Had these gentlemen exercised good fiduciary authority the town wouldn’t have installed 44 questionable drainage projects, 662 gallons of unleaded fuel wouldn’t have been stolen, the town’s procurement policy would have been advertised and awarded properly resulting in a surplus of hundreds of thousands of dollars, the FBI wouldn’t have investigated those charged with the management and spending of public finances and the state comptroller wouldn’t be back asking for office space in order to do a forensic audit of Lewiston’s finances. Nearly $2 million wouldn’t have been spent on land we don’t own but to correct a too-long ignored drainage problem at Riverwalk. One hundred thousand dollars wouldn’t have been spent on a pipe dream that was overwhelming defeated. Nearly $1 million wouldn’t have been spent to financially support a public corporation which is in direct violation of the state constitution. Now these good stewards are “rethinking” they might have erred when they approved a 20-year financial obligation to operate and maintain state property. Good stewards of public finance, oh really?

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