Tedious Political Advertisement Cost Taxpayers $6,000 in Production Expense
By Mike Hudson
“I am a wonder. I am Niagara Falls.”
No doubt about it. Here at the Niagara Falls Reporter, we’ve been wondering about Niagara Falls for nearly 15 years. We’ve wondered about city officials so corrupt they end up in prison and about why there hasn’t been a new house built here since the Gerald Ford administration. We’ve wondered how much corn you might grow on the hundreds of vacant, weed-choked lots that sit within a mile or two of the shiny Seneca Niagara Casino and about how many stray cats there are living in the empty, vandalized buildings that once served as homes and businesses here.
Seth Piccirillo, Mayor Paul Dyster’s director of community development, is apparently wondering as well. He’s wondering so much that, in the run-up to the City Council elections, he spent around $6,000 of taxpayer money producing a television commercial that makes a lame effort at selling the Falls.
You can see it on Seth’s Facebook page and on local TV and Youtube. It’s good for a laugh, once you get past the anger at having your pocket picked to produce it. Josef Goebbels would be proud of young Seth, who has now shown himself to be - among other things - a master propagandist.
The 30-second commercial for the most part consists of footage shot in the state park, with a brief nod to the state-funded NCCC culinary institute, Mayor Dyster’s Orchard Parkway neighborhood, a depiction of a vacant lot situated between two stately homes and a shot of some girl drinking a cup of coffee.
There are also shots of Wine on Third and Murphy’s, a couple of low rent establishments run by Shawn Weber and Dave Guisiana, who live in Youngstown and Lewiston respectively, but who have benefited from substantial state and city grants and loans and are strong Dyster supporters.
Accompanied by a voiceover of a man and a woman extolling the virtues of the Cataract City, a viewer could easily come away believing Niagara Falls to be the best location in the nation so long as they had not actually spent 30 seconds there.
How the thing ended up costing six grand is anyone’s guess, but we’re sure it was all legit.
Piccirillo is the youthful wunderkind whose last great idea was to pay people to come and live in Niagara Falls. Offering as much as $7,000 a year to college graduates willing to relocate, the program has completely turned the city around.
In reality, the program has simply added a new class of welfare recipients to a poverty-stricken population that is overwhelmingly receiving some sort of public assistance already.
After five years in office, five years that have seen the exodus of more than 5,000 hardworking people, many businesses and countless jobs, Dyster’s record on growth is dismal. Propping up the city’s population numbers by paying people to live here or courting the state Parole Board to send ever increasing numbers of registered sex offenders to our neighborhoods may be his idea of sound planning, but it’s not ours.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
OCT 15, 2013