Former Niagara Falls City Council Chairman and partner in the Accardo Insurance Agency on Pine Avenue, John G. Accardo, 59, has announced he is running for mayor of Niagara Falls.
"I love this city, and always have," Accardo said. "I believe we can do better, we can do more, but first, we need to just do."
Accardo said he believes the Dyster administration has over spent and over taxed the city.
"Government (should be) living within their means, presenting a balanced and timely budget, and improving the quality of life for each and every resident," Accardo said. "This current business model of giving money away a la carte is not working."
Accardo pointed out that Niagara Falls continues to experience population loss, higher taxes, and a multi-million dollar structural deficit.
Accardo noted that despite substantial revenues coming to the city from the Seneca Niagara Casino, the city has failed to generate growth and reverse still-dropping population numbers.
"With $20 million a year coming into this city in casino funds, where are the results? Instead, our mayor proposed a 7.8 percent tax hike on local mom-and-pop businesses this year and a three percent tax increase on property owners." Accardo said.
Accardo, a former Democrat, changed his affiliation to Republican two years ago following a 2011 primary loss to incumbent Mayor Paul Dyster, who went on to defeat Johnny Destino in the general by a mere 700 votes.
Accardo said he left the party because "The Democrat party leaders refused to tolerate ideas that supported lower taxes, a balanced budget, and a strong emphasis on economic development. Simply put, they chased me out for putting our future first."
Niagara County Democratic Chairman, Nick Forster said Accardo, "has every right to change party affiliations. But his claims that unnamed Democratic Party leaders 'chased' him out of the party and his ideas were not tolerated are pure fiction."
Accardo served nine years on the City Council, including three as Council chairman. He also ran for mayor in 1999 losing to Irene Elia.
In 2010, Accardo defeated New York State Assembly woman Francine Del Monte in the Democratic primary and was seen as a favorite to win the largely Democratic 138th district in the general election.
Del Monte remained in the race on a minor party line, splitting the Democratic votes and Republican John?Ceretto was elected.
In addition to his general insurance work, Accardo is a bail bondsmen and notary public.