Memo to City Clerk-Treasurer Daniel Quinn:
How about putting the City’s actual financial results for 2015 on the website next year? Putting the budgets up is fine—but residents deserve to see how the actual financial expenditures turned out also.
Explain what Lumber City Development Corp. is. It’s supposedly a separate, not-for-profit. Where is its financial reporting to the citizens published? How does the intertwining of funds between the City and LCDC get reported and monitored? Why cannot a review of NTs budget tell us what LCDC’s finances are as well? To whom are they accountable?
In 2016, we’d like to see some detailed accounting of the costs of operating Gateway Park and Gratwick Riverside Park and the income from each. Do we actually have people collecting docking fees in Gateway Park now? That was a problem every summer for years, especially when the “harbormaster” worked out of town and “supervised” summer employees by cell phone. How are docking fees collected at Gratwick Riverside Park? What is that “hot dog stand” costing us at Gratwick Riverside Park?
What are the costs of caring for our City parks and playgrounds? How do we do on renting parts of our public parks for private events? Do we require certificates of insurance for such usage? What are plans for the greenhouse at the Botanical Gardens? Will it ever be a “botanical garden” again? Why isn’t that park offered for memorials to deceased children instead of tiny Brauer Memorial Park? There is one fairly large private memorial to a youngster in the Botanical Gardens for the last seven or so years. What was the arrangement for that?
What are the plans for Deerwood Golf Course as golfing changes nationally, due to changing tastes and economics, and the aging population of golfers? What do grounds maintenance, fertilizing, and mowing the grass cost us annually? A recent Buffalo News article (November 26) indicated there are about 4 million fewer golfers in the country than there were a decade ago. The trend for closings of golf courses is ongoing, along with many going bankrupt or being foreclosed upon.
What is the expense and income history of the restaurant at Deerwood, separate from the golf course itself? How is NT planning for adaptations to deal with the national trend?
How did we lose Jacob’s Ladder to Wheatfield? LCDC asleep at the switch again? No photo ops for the politicians?
We note the former Hungarian church building on Oliver Street at First Avenue is for sale. No doubt, the candidate who ran for alderman in November’s complaint about the prostitutes gathering on the steps of the church at the Chamber debate motivated the current owner to put it up for sale. Will LCDC and the Historic Preservation Commission do anything to preserve this piece of NT’s history with a solid new use? Will the same owner put the long vacant Pee Wee’s Pizzeria building up for sale also? The Republican Committee would have to find a new political poster display site if that were sold.
Driving over the County line on the five bridges over the Canal which connect NT to the City of Tonawanda, the Town of Tonawanda and the Town of Amherst, the question comes up as to why the bridge where River Road joins Seymour Street has no sign with the name it was given when constructed--Niagara Frontier Bridge; and the bridge where Webster Street joins Main Street has no sign with the name it was given when constructed--Renaissance Bridge. Why not invest in such signs on the NT side?
Did Witter's tavern and Paul Brown's Fish Place on Oliver Street get a deal on the blue paint? How about painting their planters to match? Now if we could only get rid of those childish faded fish window coverings and the simulated finger paint "painting" across the street from Witter's on Oliver at Schenck.
What do those currently in office know about marketing a business park? What do they know about Oliver Street? Except for using them as reasons to vote for them, what are their chances of accomplishing anything any of us want and need for Oliver Street? We need people who have lived and/or worked on Oliver Street over the years, for serious amounts of time, to make decisions about Oliver Street.
We also need our NT officials to find ways to communicate with us instead of putting announcements in newspapers in NT. Hiding announcements in papers no one reads is not transparency.