Niagara Gazette — These questions should be answered in a public forum. The Niagara Falls City Council works for the public. We have a responsibly to tell whole truths and explain our decisions to the people that gave us that power. From time to time, we need to be reminded of that.
Please understand these are difficult times. No one wants layoffs, no one wants tax hikes. Our expenses have grown tremendously, we have contracts to honor, and we are in tough times. As we would within our own families ... we must band together and make some sacrifices. Hopefully this will be a temporary situation. I am sure many people wish we would take “a tougher line” with the casino revenue issue ... but we are trying to operate within the rules of the compact and not create an adversarial relationship as the state has done. I assure you that if the controller and the mayor had not been cautious and spent prudently, despite what my colleagues say…we would have been in this situation much sooner.
There are projects in the works that we need to protect such as the rail station and partnerships that we have such as USA Niagara. These are very important pieces of our long-term plan. I know there may be questions … please just ask if I don’t have the answer, I will get it for you.
The government is funny, if we are granted federal or state money and we do not use it as prescribed or in a timely fashion they will be more than hesitant to grant it to us in the future.
As we move forward, if you get frustrated or concerned … take a drive down Old Falls Street and look at the now bustling conference center and the beautiful culinary institute (which by the way will be having a scaled down version of the Holiday Market, including its great restaurants and fabulous bakery.) Drive through the Highland and College area and see all the clean up. Count the streets that have been paved, check out Buffalo Avenue, Hope VI and the amazing Underground Rail/Transportation Center, which will surely breathe new life in to the North End.
There are good things happening as well.Kristen Grandinetti serves on the Niagara Falls City Council