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Fruscione Will Campaign on Minor Lines, Says He's Still Taxpayers' Watchdog

By Sam Fruscione

I want to let all the voters in Niagara Falls know that I am remaining in the City Council race.

I am staying in the contest because I am still the endorsed council candidate of the Conservative and Independence parties. Voters - Democratic and all other voters - will find me on those two party lines. I remain in the race because I firmly believe that a candidate’s party affiliation means little in comparison to what is in their heart and what is on their public record.

While the media uproar on the Hamister deal was playing out, there were very real things happening in our city. Things like crime, continued population loss, infrastructure collapse, questions of casino cash spending, budget problems, and growing economic instability across the city.

I’m in the council race because I know, after serving for the past eight years on the council, that the problems I have listed here are very real threats to Niagara Falls. Throughout my years in office I have been - in spite of what some angry partisans want to claim to the contrary - the taxpayers’ watchdog. That’s a fact. I led the charge against Mayor Dyster’s tax hike last year, I fought to keep 28 city employees (28 Niagara Falls homeowners) working when the mayor tried to put them on the unemployment line, and I have consistently made necessary cuts to the city budget in order to hold government costs down.

Some people are now noticing the importance of the local tourism industry and the role it can play in the economic rebound of our city, and that’s a good thing. But I want to note that one of the first things I did upon taking office was to create the Niagara Falls Tourism Advisory Board, a board free of political and business interference, a board of "regular citizens" who understand the importance of tourism to our city. The "TAB" was instrumental in welcoming Nik Wallenda to our city as he completed his now legendary walk over our waterfall. The TAB has addressed the Parkway issue, casino expansion, casino revenue, downtown tourism development and a number of other important issues. I’m proud of this board’s accomplishments.

I’ve worked across the political aisle with Sen. Maziarz and Assemblyman John Ceretto on the Wallenda walk, on the casino cash crisis, and in changing state signage ordinances in our tourism corridor. While other elected city officials and candidates have literally refused to talk to the senator and assemblyman, I have been in communication with them from day one for the good of the city. When a politician refuses to reach across the aisle and practices shortsighted party politics, it hurts the city, the taxpayer, and all residents.

Crime and crime-fighting remain a top challenge to any contemporary American city. I’m proud to say that I have never been afraid to talk about our city’s crime problem and I have worked repeatedly to give our police the resources to make our city a safe place to live, work and raise a family. I’ve never been bashful to point out the crime problem because no city ever solved their crime problem by ignoring it. It may be "smart politics" to ignore this inconvenient discussion but "smart politics" won’t keep our residents safe in their neighborhoods.

The 2014 budget recently released by the Dyster administration has no tax increase because this is an election year and the mayor is delaying that tax increase until 2015. Last year the mayor worked to raise taxes to near double digit levels. Right now he wants to get his three preferred council candidates into office so he can count on their unquestioning votes for the next two years. I don’t believe a mayor who favors tax increases, starts projects that frequently end up in a lawsuit, and throws taxpayer money at consultants and contractors is ultimately good for our city.

I ask the voters to check the records of the candidates hoping to hold their city council seats. Look to see if they have ever written a city ordinance, investigate as to what budget amendments they have initiated and question what they have accomplished while in office. A city council person must do more than blindly agree with the powers that be, they have to be more than a rubber stamp to deserve your vote. You don’t owe your vote to any one candidate or to any one party. Your vote should be trusted to the candidate that honestly works for you and not for special interests.

At the end of the day this council race is about the taxpayer, the homeowner and the small business person. It’s about taking control of our city’s future and not surrendering that future to special interests, special interests that don’t live here and who aren’t invested here, but who want to tell us how to live here.

So, yes I’m in the race for city council. And I respectfully ask for your vote on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

OCT 15, 2013