Open Letter to Mayor Pappas and esteemed members of the Common Council:
Now that you have settled in, we, those you were elected (or appointed by others we elected) to serve, we would like to draw some needs to your attention:
• We would be grateful if you could look into why it now takes 12 to 15 (usually 15) minutes for the fire trucks to make it to the location of the fire instead of the 3 to 5 minutes it took before the dispatching was sent to Lockport. The same situation exists with calls for medical assistance by the fire company.
• We would like you to look into why a number of security monitoring businesses report that they contact the North Tonawanda Police Department to meet owners and/or occupants when security alarms go off in North Tonawanda and learn from their customers that no police car or policeman is there waiting for them when they arrive after getting a call.
• We would like to be pleasantly surprised when the new City Clerk-Treasurer replacement isn't a person whose main qualifications are that he or she is affiliated with you. We would like a City Clerk-Treasurer who is a long-time resident of our city and also has qualifications to be a City Clerk-Treasurer. Otherwise, just eliminate that position and let the worker bees in the two offices do all the work—as they always do anyhow.
• We would like to see copies of your proposed budgets for each year out where the public can view them before you approve them in more places than the library and City Hall. Perhaps you could put copies in each school, in the fire halls, and at the NT History Museum, all places where we might all have a convenient location to go to open on days and times that are more convenient for us. It should be up on the City website also.
• We would like a public listing of salaries—and overtime where relevant—earned by everyone involved in any way in City government, not just line items for departments. We also would like the details on the health insurance and pension costs for each of these.
• We would like Common Council meetings to allow more time and for public input at the beginning of the meetings—with this being publicized so that people actually become aware of it—on matters you are dealing with or matters you appear to either know nothing about or don't care about. We would like to see our Common Council meetings televised on LCTV like the City of Lockport and the Town of Lockport are. If Mayor Pappas participates in the Ask the Mayor programs on LCTV as does the City of Lockport Mayor and the City of Niagara Falls Mayor, we would hope he won't be rude to callers as his predecessor often was and we would appreciate him sticking to issues of importance in the City, not telling us how great he is.
• We would like a report annually of what each Council member and the Mayor put their time into besides the offices we have elected each of them to—and how much each earns from those that have an income connected to them which resulted from other politically connected positions..
• We'd like to see a detailed list of each street you are going to repair, resurface or replace in the coming year—and would like to be provided with an opportunity for residents to provide public input on those needs, the snow plowing and salting and leaf pickup work done for us.
• We'd like to have a public meeting with detailed information on what you are going to do to finally fix the sources of flooded streets and basements in the City.
• We would like to know when the City is going to really develop the former Buffalo Bolt property into a real business or commerce park instead of an unkempt field of weeds and overgrown grass.
• We suggest you do some recruiting of businesses to make the Nash Road plaza fully occupied. It has such a wonderful parking lot which should be full! Why not a quality chain steak house that residents can afford to eat in, a family budget friendly diner type restaurant, a clothing store, perhaps a pet store so we don't have to drive to Amherst or Niagara Falls? What is there is great—but why isn't the City helping fill it instead of adding more bars to Webster Street?
The Citizens (Taxpayers, Voters, Residents) of North Tonawanda.