Niagara Gazette

Opinion

March 11, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Council chairman responds to recent coverage

Niagara Gazette — I would like to use this opportunity to respond to two articles that recently appeared in the Niagara Gazette: One was a column by Mark Scheer on Monday Feb. 18 titled “Whose fault is it?” and the other article was a Gazette editorial on Feb. 21 titled “Council’s direction is not new.”

Both articles criticized the city council majority for its funding reduction votes on the NACC, Block Club Council and Niagara Beautification Commission. The editorial severely criticized the council for not accepting a challenge grant from the Oishei Foundation in support of the NACC.

In Scheer’s column he wrote “Niagara Falls is and has been a mess for a lot of years now.” Tell us how you really feel, Mark. Niagara Falls, my hometown, is a “mess” and “has been a mess for a long time?”

How dare you write those words.

I was born and raised here and my wife and I are raising our children here, I own a home and pay taxes here. You’re welcome to your opinion but I want to know what good you thought you were possibly doing by calling Niagara Falls “a mess?” The Gazette is the newspaper of record for this city and it pulls a lot of revenue from this “mess” of a community.

The editorial rapped the council for not taking the Oishei deal as offered by Mr. Gioia. We want the Gazette readers to know that we don’t run government through fundraising “challenge grants,” used by public radio: “The XYZ foundation will match all donations for the next hour, donate now and get a free coffee mug!”

The reality of the Oishei offer is that to this day the council never received a copy of the Oishei/Dyster press release announcing the offer and we never saw their letter that Mayor Dyster referred to at the Feb. 19 council meeting. I believe the theatrical approach taken by the mayor and the foundation was designed to embarrass the council. Why else was there no communication to the council from either Oishei or Dyster?

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