Niagara Gazette

October 4, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Zona focused on fixing problems, not negative politics

By Jason J. Cafarella
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — In New York state, we have lots of government and too many politicians. So when I was a Niagara County legislator, I didn’t take it personally when residents didn’t know what my role in government actually was. In all seriousness, who can keep these separate and distinctive layers of government straight?

Despite serving in the anonymity of county government, my service has provided me with some insight in Niagara County government and politics. This insight, at least for me, is valuable when it’s time to consider candidates running for the office that I once held.

As a legislator, my leadership style was this: work with members of all parties and advocate for the interests of Niagara Falls. In doing that, you are forced to “play nice” and fight the opposition at the bare minimum to preserve the tenuous working relationship. I am here to tell you that my approach was wrong.

We need an aggressive Legislator that will work to focus on the economic development of our county. But the biggest detriment to economic development in our county is high taxes. In fact, Niagara County typically boasts the horrid award of “highest taxed county in the entire United States.” Despite this fact, the county legislative majority has no problem continuously building the size of its government by adding attorneys, patronage positions, and needless consultant positions. All of these needless positions have a cost that we the taxpayers must cover. And all of these needless positions quickly add up and make Niagara County the highest taxed county in the nation. Thus we need a legislator that will tirelessly fight corruption and patronage.

It is my well-founded opinion that Legislator Jason Zona is the right legislator for the Fifth District. Legislator Zona, over the past two years, has been our biggest advocate. He has fought patronage and nepotism. He has sought to reduce the size of government, but not reduce the necessary services that our County residents need and deserve. It was Zona that stood against the needless tax increases and fought to promote economic development.

But when you fight corruption and patronage as much as Zona has in the last two years, you will make some very powerful enemies. And for good reason! Powerful politicians and special interests can’t afford to have their shell game exposed to the extent that Zona has done. Simply put, if these political superpowers are exposed for the malady of patronage positions, consultant jobs, no bid contracts and other incentives they provide their friends, the taxpayers would quickly vote them out of power That is why they cannot allow strong advocates like Legislator Jason Zona to succeed.

In fact, in the infancy of Zona’s re-election campaign, he publicly predicted that his political adversaries would unleash a relentless attack upon him. He insisted that his opponents would create and embellish stories and conspiracies to smear his good name. And once again, Zona was right! Over the last couple weeks, these political operatives unleashed multiple vicious attacks on him.

But these political operatives assume, wrongly, that the voters of Niagara County are easily tricked. They do not give us enough credit. Our residents and voters will not be fooled by their negative political campaigns. Zona has run his re-election based on the issues that plague Niagara County. He will continue to do so. He will not allow his campaign to be overtaken by negative politics. Niagara County needs leadership and reform. Zona has shown that he is capable of leading and seeking reform in Niagara County. With your help, he will continue to do so.

As the campaign season wraps up, please don’t be fooled by the fake issues and the smear campaigns that will be hurled against Zona. Consider this: Who knows the issues that plague Niagara County? Who has the plans to fix these problems? And who has the courage to fight to fix these problems? Legislator Jason Zona can and will fight to fix the problems plague our County! Please join me in voting for him for the Fifth District Niagara County Legislator.

Jason J. Cafarella is a Niagara Falls resident.