Is it much ado about very little - or a keen little insight behind the veil of Niagara Falls and the garbage some people call politics?
Former councilman Sam Fruscione is claiming that the Dyster administration is engaging in a conspiracy to guarantee that he will be cited as one of the first violators of the city's new trash and recycling ordinance?
Fruscione, who lost his council seat two years ago largely due to his questioning of the Hamister hotel deal, is currently preparing to open an ice cream shop at 2648 Main Street, the former site of the Ice Bridge ice cream parlor.
Fruscione, who is leasing property with two storefronts, consequently received two blue refuse totes and one green recycling tote for each of two separately metered storefronts at the property.
According to Fruscione, officials in the Dyster administration, coming to learn that he is using both storefronts for a single ice cream parlor, discussed the idea of revoking two of the blue totes and one green tote, and, suggested further that if he does not surrender them, or uses them, they plan to fine the former councilman.
The Dyster administration claims that despite the property having two individual utility meters, they should be treated as one store since Fruscione will operate them both. Therefore Fruscione should not be permitted to use the totes for the second storefront.
Fruscione, without city grants or loans, is using his own money to renovate the old ice cream parlor to have it ready for an April opening, hence bringing a new, small business to the city's mainly vacant Main Street.
"I've got a lease and I'm investing to bring business to Main Street. I'm not politically active; I'm not even a member of the Democratic Party anymore," Fruscione said.
A source at city hall confirmed that officials "at the highest levels" have discussed the matter and had planned to instruct SWEET coordinator, Brook D'Angelo, who is head of enforcement for the Dyster trash plan, to cite Fruscione to make him an example as a 'violator' of the trash code.
D'Angelo, a city Democratic committeewoman, was the literal voice of political radio ads that attacked Fruscione as he sought reelection in 2013.
As a dissenter of the Dyster plan to gift the Hamister Group with a prime parcel of downtown land that was appraised for more than $1.5 million for $100,000, he was targeted for ousting by Dyster and supporters.
"Enough is enough," Fruscione said, "and I told the mayor just that in a phone conversation late Friday afternoon last week. The mayor denied having anything to do with this harassment. I told him that the nonsense has to stop or I'm going to be speaking to the authorities."
It is against the law for a government to engage in selective law enforcement, or use its resources to harass an "enemy" of that government. The biased use of enforcement discretion, such as that based on racial prejudice or corruption, is usually considered a legal abuse and a threat to the rule of law.