Sweeney Payne, as we explained in our first column in December, and further explained as our pseudonym in our February 18 column, represents both men and women who are citizens of North Tonawanda.
One of our goals for the column was to bring public awareness to the dichotomy that exists in North Tonawanda, with only those who follow a particular party line receiving a fair hearing.
If our public officials would properly inform the citizens they are supposed to be serving before they make their decisions, we wouldn't have to guess on things. It is so sad that the only way we get transparency from those supposedly serving us is to make it a very public inquiry or a guess in print.
Many of us are disgusted at being treated like idiots, fools or ignoramuses only humored by public officials feigning to be listening to us at best.
The Remington Nash diatribes are similar to what too many of us have been victim of or witness to since 2010. We are grateful that he or she has submitted them in writing to publicly validate our point. Talking down to us and insulting us for daring to exercise our rights as citizens to know what the elected or elected and appointed officials are doing is indicative of the problem we have been describing.
The vitriolic responses from Remington Nash are symptomatic of the responses so many of us who don't agree with the reigning party have been given in recent years. Other communities have citizens with divergent opinions and concerns and both sides—or multiple sides at times—who are given the opportunity to present them without derision or outright insults.
We are legally entitled to be made aware of pros and cons of sales of any public property, including reasons for not putting them up for public bidding. We appreciate a Buffalo News article on March 1 sharing details after the fact. At the time the completed sale was announced, the minutes of the relevant Council meeting were not yet up on the City website. A good majority of our older citizens also do not own or use computers, let alone the internet. Council meeting times are not convenient for anyone but the City officials.
We were pleasantly surprised to read Douglas Taylor's missive as Chairman of Lumber City Development Corp. Is he the same Douglas Taylor who is the President of Taylor Devices, the business that is the only one to buy property and locate on the Buffalo Bolt property? Was his purchase of the old Niagara Radiator property while chairing the City's economic development entity that oversees the Buffalo Bolt complex a conflict of interest? If Taylor and company had provided the facts up front on the land sale, we wouldn't have needed to guess.
In our January 27 column, we asked for actions and answers to a number of issues we as citizens deserve answers to from those in office. To date, no elected or appointed official has responded.
In the February 28 North Tonawanda Sun, a letter to the editor appeared informing us that former four-year Mayor and our first elected four-year Councilman at Large Lawrence Soos had submitted a request for an interview for the Councilman at Larger position vacated by Arthur Pappas' appointment as Mayor. Why wasn't Soos even given the courtesy of an interview and why weren't we informed that he was one of those interested in filling the position?
We now have a 2/5 appointed Common Council, an appointed Mayor, an appointed City Clerk-Treasurer. We are still waiting to read more about the new City Clerk-Treasurer.
Those we elect or who they appoint to become our public servants seem to be missing the fact that we deserve to be privy to verifiable facts from them. We deserve the courtesy of knowing what they are doing on our behalf and why. We deserve the courtesy of their listening to our questions and answering them without insulting us. We should know what the options are when making decisions on our behalf and why the final decisions are made. Those are our rights as citizens of NT.
Giving us only final decisions is not transparent or accountable governing. The lack of transparency and accountability in NT's government has defied description!
We do want action in rectifying the untenable situation of a special few running OUR City.
We, who our appointed Mayor and two-fifths appointed and three-fifths elected Common Council and appointed Clerk-Treasurer are all supposed to serve, will be watching between now and November to see who they actually serve.