Niagara Gazette


March 5, 2013

CHOOLOKIAN: A difference in leadership

Niagara Gazette — The Niagara Gazette published a Mayor Paul Dyster guest view on Feb. 19 that made some serious accusations against the city council. I would like to use this printed space to address several of the mayor’s pointed remarks.

Our mayor wrote that the council has “crossed the line,” “mislead,” “does not understand or respect our city’s form of government,” “the council is clearly disregarding the city charter.”

The mayor also wrote that the council is guilty of “sleight of hand,” that the council thinks the budget is “just one giant slush fund,” that the council “would rather write a snappy press release instead of fund good government” and he wrapped it all up stating, “this council majority should stop the politicking and get back to work.”

And what work would that be, Mr. Mayor? You cut us down with insulting language and accused of us overstepping our boundaries. What work could we possibly have to conduct on behalf of the residents after you’ve questioned our integrity and recommended shutting off our powers, powers given to us as duly elected city officials.

As for ignoring the charter and allegedly assuming too much power I want to point out that the corporation counsel noted that the council does have the power to vote down any funding for items presented on the agenda even after it has been placed in the budget, and the city controller noted that the bed tax funds could be used for police initiatives in our tourism district.

So clearly the council is not in violation of the charter we are merely doing what we believe is best for the residents. For the mayor to accuse the city council of being in violation of the charter is inflammatory political rhetoric and something that, judging from the mayor’s Gazette guest view, he would ordinarily disapprove.

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