Niagara Gazette

February 26, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Stop the bleeding in the Falls

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Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — As a newer piece of our ever-evolving electorate I feel my stance on social and economic issues challenged regularly. What makes this country such a wonderful place to live and grow is the possibility to challenge; what concerns me about the political conversation is the lack of common sense.

When it comes to making decisions I have been taught since I was a young man to implore the ‘common sense test.’ When I look at the state of our city I wonder where the common sense test failed, or, why it was never implored.

Our current political discussion seems to revolve around how we’re going to cut taxes, cut the red tape imposed by local government, cut the size of government, cut the stranglehold the government has on our local base.

My question is: why? Why are we discussing the cuts and where did the discussion of growth fall to? It is entirely possible the nature of our ensuing political leaders have lead the burial of the topic within the argument and to that I say: shame on us; shame on the residents of this city.

It’s time for the City of Niagara Falls to demand better representation. It’s time for the electorate of this city to mandate a change for the better and for our elected representation to lead the change in the right direction.

Our city has faced a steady decline in residency over the past five decades. The reasons for this vary, some are arguably no fault of our local elected leaders and others fall directly on the shoulders of whom we’ve elected as a city and that right there is the point. We’ve elected leadership of our city time and time again that we seem to find fault with and I’ll never wrap my head around how that’s a positive.

Albert Einstein offered a definition that becomes quite popular in political conversations and rightly so: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

We have to be insane to think the continuance of converging on cuts is going to help the local state of our economy or city. We must also be insane to send the same people back to city hall over and over again expecting to see different results.

I’m proud to be a fiscal conservative but counter the cut argument with the notion that you can cut oneself to the point where promoting growth is impossible; this principle is followed by entrepreneurs on a daily basis. The saying ‘it takes money to make money’ needs to be carefully inspected; frivolous spending will only hurt the city but our elected leaders need to tread carefully when cutting departmental spending to the point where essential services are hindered and the city continues to lack the infrastructure to provide for its local citizens. This will never promote growth. This is why we need to change the scope of our conversation from cuts to growth – if cutting spending in certain areas is going to impact our growth in a positive nature then it needs to be on the table but if we’re allowing individuals to stand before us and politically lobby for cuts for the sake of gaining a seat at city hall we’re truly setting ourselves up for a disaster beyond what we’ve seen.

Instead of focusing on cuts, change your focal argument to one promoting growth. Lean on the infrastructure in place to do things the city government shouldn’t be involved in: stop preaching city lead economic development and start leaning on the Chamber of Commerce. Stop spending money on concerts and start promoting programs that are going to lead to growth like encouraging new graduates to call the city home; encourage job placement along with housing incentives and keep the ridiculous political jabs to yourself.

Here stands a message for our local elected representative: Start strengthening the local infrastructure of our city or find alternative employment because the City of Niagara Falls will soon take a stand rather than face the hard road to dissolution.

Sean J. Daly is a Niagara Falls resident.

Sean J. Daly is a Niagara Falls resident.