An interview with Sam Fruscione: Correct about phony Hamister deal

 

 

 

touma fruscione

Sam Fruscione was right after all…..

It was the summer of 2013, almost three years ago, and the city of Niagara Falls was in the midst of a crisis. According to the Buffalo television stations and local newspapers quoting Mayor Paul Dyster, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Sen Kirsten Gillibrand, one man was standing in the way on an economic revitalization that would turn the city around once and for all.

That man, comically enough, it seems now, was popular former city Council chairman Sam Fruscione.

The affable Fruscione had served on the Council for years, providing the leadership for a dissident majority that questioned Dyster administration initiatives and fought against the mayor’s annual tax increases. Along with former councilmen Bob Anderson and Glenn Choolokian, Fruscione provided effective opposition.

But in 2013, he was running for reelection. And although he had often been the top vote getter in his previous reelection bids, there was absolutely no way to predict what lay ahead in that crazy year.

Mark Hamister, a Buffalo nursing home operator and major campaign contributor, proposed building a grand hotel in downtown Niagara Falls. Dyster, Cuomo, Gillibrand and other politicians who had benefitted from Hamister’s largess quickly got behind the project.

Hamister had never built a hotel before but the media was quickly filled with stories of his “transformational” project. “It [Hamister hotel] could help turn the tide of development in Niagara Falls,” the governor said.

There was only one problem. Fruscione, Choolokian and Anderson wanted some assurance that Hamister actually had the money to do what he said he was going to do. All hell broke loose.

Choolokian and Anderson’s seats were safe that year but Fruscione’s was up for grabs. And Andrew Touma, cousin of Dyster campaign manager Craig Touma, was put up as a replacement for Fruscione, one who would not stand in the way of an important development like the Hamister hotel.

For his part, Hamister threatened to walk away from the deal because of Fruscione’s intransigence. It was imperative that Council approve the deal so that construction could begin by the early spring of 2014, he said.

The campaign against Fruscione was unprecedented. Never before in the history of Niagara Falls City Council races had the governor played a role, much less Gillibrand and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, who also endorsed Touma.

The media campaign was unrelenting, and mailers and robocalls went beyond simply criticizing Fruscione for his stand on the Hamister hotel, they went so far as to accuse him of being sympathetic to the Mafia!

The campaign was effective and he lost the primary to Touma.

Now, nearly 28 months later, the Hamister hotel has turned out to be what Fruscione and the Niagara Falls Reporter said it was in the first place – Smoke and mirrors. Now Dyster and other vocal supporters have all but admitted that Hamister didn’t have the money to do the project after all, although they stop short of saying that Fruscione was right.

While the Hamister project failed to accomplish its alleged goal of building a hotel it did manage to achieve what most political observers believe was its real, but hidden, intent: driving two term councilman and Paul Dyster nemesis, Sam Fruscione from office. The Reporter recently spent time with the always good humored school teacher as we posed a few questions in this exclusive interview.

Q: Let’s cut to the chase:  What about the Hamister project?

A: The Hamister deal was never meant to happen. It was a campaign stunt to do two things: put me out of office and put [Council members Chalre] Walker, [Kristen] Grandinetti, and [Andrew] Touma into office. Plain and simple. I saw that and I questioned the validity of the land transfer and contract drawn by the city with Mr. Hamister. And because of that the mayor and governor – the governor actually did a robo call slamming me if you remember – joined forces with the City Democratic Committee and I was politically smeared out of office. So here the city sits, close to three years later, and still no hotel. Not so much as a shovelful of dirt turned over. The project should be looked at from top to bottom. The residents deserve an answer to the entire affair.

Q: How do you rate the economic development efforts of the Dyster administration?
A: The new hotels downtown have been built not due to the administration but in spite of the administration. The overflow from Canada, our own tourism traffic and extra exposure due to the casino have caused the new hotels. And that’s a good thing. The new hotels and motels in LaSalle are directly due to the growth of the airport. And the administration had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the airport growth because Mayor Dyster very jealously saw the airport project as a George Maziarz project. Aside from the hotels there’s virtually no private investment downtown. If the city grants and loans were withdrawn from Third Street the businesses there would disappear. The street is virtually government subsidized. There’s low income subsidized housing on Walnut Avenue that’s being claimed as a great success and South Junior is going to be turned into subsidized housing. You can’t call this economic development And Hamister? Well, I answered that already.

1412206004000-HamisterHotel

Original drawing of the proposed Hamister hotel.

Q: Two words, train station. Care to respond?

A: I have two words of my own, ‘costly mistake.’ When was the last time you or anyone you know took a train anywhere? Do families vacation like that? Do mom and dad take the kids and their luggage and “hop aboard” the train to Disney, to Cooperstown, to Corning or Las Vegas? Time and again I asked Mayor Dyster and his planner Tom DeSantis how they intended  to pay for day to day operation of the building and they had no answers. None, zero. How is that possible? Yet it’s being built. We have a broken budget, casino revenue is essentially gone, a State Restructuring Board is going to be taking over and yet a new, unsupported, $45 million train station is set to open. What’s going on here? I’m not even going to mention the Underground Railroad Interpretive Center next door to the train station that’s tied up with a lawsuit and was supposed to have opened its doors five years ago.

Q: What is the single greatest mistake that the Dyster administration made in the past eight years?

A: That’s an easy one to point out, the handling of the casino revenue. Here we were with an annual city minimum of more than $20,000,000 in casino money and yet we’re now running a $65 million debt and $7.6 million budget deficit! That’s incredible and yet I don’t see where city hall – the elected officials or employees charged with management – is the the least bit concerned. Raises still go to department heads, stipends, overtime, consulting contracts, endless work change orders and casino money pushed out the door by the millions as if the dollars were being printed in Mayor Dyster’s office. Where’s the media editorials? The outraged voters? The state intervention?

Q: Is there a return to the world of politics in your future?

A: I enjoy being away from it. I do miss the sense of doing good and of trying to move the city forward, but the back biting and small mindedness are things that I’m happy to have left behind. I am intrigued a little bit at the thought of serving on a state level someday. Maybe the Assembly. John Ceretto’s seat is open next year, you never know.

108 Comments

  1. Where was Fruscione when the property was up for sale? Couldn’t he or even the owner of this paper brought it? It’s amazing to say the least that when Fruscione was voted off council,The late Bob Anderson voted for the project with the promise that the jobs should stay local.That tells alot about who really ran the council at the time. It wasn’t Choolokian. Might have been in name only.

    “The Hamister deal was never meant to happen. It was a campaign stunt to do two things: put me out of office and put [Council members Chalre] Walker, [Kristen] Grandinetti, and [Andrew] Touma into office.”

    We’ll just put this up there with John Accardo’s claim that he wins the mayors seat if Choolokian doesn’t run as a write in. Guess what,You weren’t that great as a councilmen,It’s why you lost the election,Like people remembered the 48% property tax increase during Accardo stint on the council.

  2. I see that Fruscione is still crying like a baby. For some reason the Reporter thinks someone really cares what Fruscione thinks. Bulletin: Nobody does! Fruscione’s opinion is not relevant. I like to see him run for Ceretto’s seat so we can see Fruscione get crushed.

  3. It’s an amazing post in support of all the internet people; they will
    take advantage from it I am sure.

  4. I’m curious to find out what blog system you happen to be utilizing? I’m having some small security problems with my latest blog and I’d like to find something more safe. Do you have any solutions?

  5. As the admin of this web page is working, no question very
    rapidly it will be famous, due to its quality contents.

  6. You can certainly see your skills in the article you write.

    The world hopes for even more passionate writers like
    you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Always follow
    your heart.

  7. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to
    find out where u got this from. thanks

  8. I visited multiple websites but the audio quality
    for audio songs existing at this web site is truly marvelous.

  9. This website is my aspiration , very wonderful pattern and perfect articles .

  10. If some one wants to be updated with newest technologies afterward he must be pay a visit
    this web page and be up to date all the time.

  11. Thanks for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your
    further write ups thank you once again.

  12. I’ve learn several good stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how a lot attempt you place to make the sort
    of excellent informative website.

  13. Very soon this website will be famous amid all
    blogging and site-building users, due to it’s fastidious posts

  14. Having read this I believed it was rather
    enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together.
    I once again find myself spending way too much time
    both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  15. Hi mates, nice piece of writing and pleasant arguments commented here, I am in fact enjoying by these.

  16. Very interesting points you have observed , thanks for posting .

  17. whoah this blog is magnificent i like studying your articles.
    Stay up the good work! You understand, lots of persons are
    hunting round for this info, you could aid them greatly.

  18. Hi there to every body, it’s my first go to see of this blog; this
    weblog consists of awesome and genuinely excellent information for readers.

  19. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I
    guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the
    whole thing. Do you have any recommendations for newbie blog writers?
    I’d really appreciate it.

  20. Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

    Thank you

  21. Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work due to no backup.
    Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

  22. What’s up to every one, the contents present at this web site are truly remarkable for people knowledge, well, keep up the
    good work fellows.

  23. It’s an awesome article for all the internet
    visitors; they will obtain advantage from it I am sure.

  24. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve truly
    enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write
    again very soon!

  25. Thanks for this grand post, I am glad I found this site on yahoo.

  26. It is in reality a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy that you shared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and
    I hope you write again soon!

  28. Highly energetic article, I liked that bit. Will there be a part 2?

  29. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However,
    how can we communicate?

  30. Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this website needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the
    information!

  31. I just like the valuable information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your blog and test again right here frequently.
    I’m somewhat sure I will be informed a lot of new stuff proper here!
    Good luck for the next!

  32. I do accept as true with all of the concepts you’ve introduced
    for your post. They are really convincing and can certainly work.

    Still, the posts are very quick for novices. May just you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time?
    Thanks for the post.

  33. Howdy! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new apple iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts!

    Carry on the fantastic work!

  34. Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any tips?

  35. Howdy this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors
    or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so
    I wanted to get advice from someone with experience.
    Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  36. Wow! This blog looks just like my old one!
    It’s on a totally different subject but it has pretty
    much the same page layout and design. Excellent
    choice of colors!

  37. Ahaa, its fastidious dialogue on the topic of this piece of writing
    here at this blog, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting here.

  38. When some one searches for his required thing, so he/she desires to
    be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.

  39. Hi, I want to subscribe for this web site to get newest updates,
    therefore where can i do it please assist.

  40. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about sunglasses make.
    Regards

  41. This post is really a nice one it helps new internet people,
    who are wishing for blogging.

  42. Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a totally different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

  43. Hey! I understand this is somewhat off-topic however I had
    to ask. Does building a well-established blog like yours require a large amount of work?
    I’m completely new to running a blog but I do write in my
    journal daily. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my personal experience and feelings online.
    Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for new
    aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!

  44. Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I’ve read stuff from.
    I appreciate you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity,
    Guess I’ll just bookmark this web site.

  45. First of all I want to say great blog! I had a quick question which I’d
    like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to find
    out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.
    I have had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas
    out. I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips?
    Cheers!

  46. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no backup.
    Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?

  47. Hey there are using WordPress for your site platform?

    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any coding
    knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  48. What’s up, all is going fine here and ofcourse every one is sharing data, that’s genuinely fine, keep up writing.

  49. Pretty portion of content. I simply stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I get actually loved account your weblog posts.
    Anyway I will be subscribing on your augment and even I
    fulfillment you get admission to consistently fast.

  50. Post writing is also a fun, if you be familiar with afterward you can write otherwise it is
    complicated to write.

  51. It’s going to be finish of mine day, however before finish I am reading this great article to increase my knowledge.

  52. It is perfect time to make some plans for the longer
    term and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I may just
    I desire to counsel you some fascinating things or tips.
    Perhaps you can write subsequent articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read more issues approximately it!

  53. I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as
    no one else know such detailed about my trouble.
    You’re amazing! Thanks!

  54. Hurrah! After all I got a website from where I can genuinely take valuable data concerning my study and knowledge.

  55. I got this web page from my friend who informed me about this web page and at the moment this time I am browsing this web page and reading very informative posts at this place.

  56. This is a topic that is near to my heart… Take
    care! Where are your contact details though?

  57. What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness
    of precious knowledge regarding unpredicted feelings.

  58. That is a good tip especially to those fresh to the
    blogosphere. Short but very accurate information… Thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read post!

  59. I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also visit
    this weblog on regular basis to get updated from hottest reports.

  60. Terrific post however I was wanting to know if you could write a
    litte more on this subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
    Thanks!

  61. Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell
    and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell
    someone!

  62. Greate post. Keep writing such kind of information on your site.
    Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hey there, You’ve done an excellent job. I’ll definitely digg it and for
    my part suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this web
    site.

  63. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours lately, yet I by no means discovered any
    attention-grabbing article like yours. It’s lovely value enough for me.
    In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the internet
    can be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  64. You are so awesome! I do not believe I have
    read a single thing like that before. So wonderful to discover somebody with some genuine thoughts on this subject matter.
    Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This site is one
    thing that is required on the web, someone with some originality!

  65. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in reality was
    a amusement account it. Glance complex to far introduced agreeable from you!
    By the way, how could we be in contact?

  66. Viagra Samples Rifampicin What Is Zithromax Z Pak [url=http://cheapestcial.com ]cialis[/url] Prospecto Finasteride Propecia Priligy Precio 2013 Amerimedrx Pharmacy

  67. Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download
    it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my
    blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. Appreciate it

  68. Good information. Lucky me I came across your website by chance (stumbleupon).

    I’ve book-marked it for later!

  69. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it,
    you will be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back
    later on. I want to encourage one to continue your great work, have a nice evening!

  70. I am impressed with this website , really I am a fan.

  71. When someone writes an piece of writing he/she maintains the image of a user in his/her brain that how a user can know it.
    So that’s why this article is great. Thanks!

  72. I have read a few good stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how a lot attempt you put to create such a fantastic informative web
    site.

  73. Hello There. I discovered your blog the usage of msn.
    This is a very smartly written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your
    useful information. Thank you for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  74. Excellent way of describing, and fastidious post to get facts on the
    topic of my presentation topic, which i am going to deliver in university.

  75. WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for ig

  76. hello there and thank you for your info – I have certainly picked up anything new from
    right here. I did however expertise some technical points
    using this web site, since I experienced to reload the site many times previous to I could get
    it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web host is
    OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading
    instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if ads and
    marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this RSS to my email and
    can look out for much more of your respective interesting content.
    Ensure that you update this again soon.

  77. I always emailed this blog post page to all my
    contacts, since if like to read it afterward my contacts will
    too.

  78. Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know
    a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but
    I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two
    different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

  79. Ahaa, its pleasant discussion on the topic of this post
    at this place at this website, I have read all that, so
    at this time me also commenting here.

  80. This design is incredible! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start
    my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what you had to say,
    and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  81. This post is worth everyone’s attention. How can I find out more?

  82. Hey there I am so excited I found your webpage, I really found you by error,
    while I was searching on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I
    am here now and would just like to say cheers for a incredible post and
    a all round exciting blog (I also love the
    theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the fantastic b.

  83. Hi there mates, how is the whole thing, and what you would
    like to say on the topic of this post, in my
    view its genuinely awesome designed for me.

  84. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.
    It will always be exciting to read articles from other
    writers and use something from their web sites.

  85. Cephalexin No Prescription Super Kamagra Gunstig Il Cialis Costa [url=http://cheapestcial.com ]generic cialis[/url] Louer Levitra En Suisse Cialis En Europe Cannadian Pharmacy

  86. I am really delighted to read this blog posts which carries lots of helpful facts, thanks for providing such information.

  87. Highly descriptive article, I liked that a lot.
    Will there be a part 2?

  88. Hi there, I check your blog daily. Your humoristic style is awesome, keep up the good work!

  89. I think that is one of the most important information for
    me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna commentary on few normal things, The web site taste is perfect, the articles is truly excellent : D.

    Excellent process, cheers

  90. I’m curious to find out what blog platform you are using?
    I’m experiencing some small security issues with my latest blog and I
    would like to find something more secure. Do you have any recommendations?

  91. Your way of describing all in this paragraph is actually
    fastidious, every one be capable of effortlessly
    be aware of it, Thanks a lot.

  92. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide
    credit and sources back to your webpage?
    My blog is in the exact same area of interest
    as yours and my visitors would really benefit from some of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this okay with you. Appreciate it!

  93. I just could not depart your website before
    suggesting that I actually loved the standard info an individual provide for your guests?
    Is going to be again frequently in order to inspect new posts

  94. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it
    but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog
    you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I
    look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  95. Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Thanks for supplying this information.

  96. I used to be recommended this blog by means of my cousin. I am not certain whether or not this
    submit is written through him as no one else know such
    unique about my difficulty. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  97. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am
    inspired! Extremely useful information specifically the final section :
    ) I care for such information a lot. I used to be seeking
    this certain information for a long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  98. What’s up everybody, here every one is sharing these kinds of
    familiarity, thus it’s nice to read this webpage, and I used to pay a quick visit this weblog daily.

  99. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our
    community. Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  100. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your
    intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be
    giving us something enlightening to read?

  101. Greetings! I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and finally
    got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Tx!
    Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic work!

  102. Order Cephalexin From Mexico Generic Viagra Super [url=http://viaonlineusa.com]generic viagra[/url] Vpxl American Pharmacy

  103. Terrific work! That is the kind of information that are supposed to be shared around the web.

    Shame on the seek engines for not positioning this publish upper!
    Come on over and seek advice from my site . Thank you =)

  104. This piece of writing presents clear idea designed for the new people of blogging, that in fact how to do blogging.

  105. I blog quite often and I really thank you for your content.
    The article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to bookmark your blog and
    keep checking for new information about once per week.
    I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

  106. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different page and
    thought I should check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to checking out your web page yet again.

  107. Excellent article. I’m experiencing some of these issues as well..

  108. Fantastic website. A lot of helpful info here. I am sending
    it to some friends ans additionally sharing in delicious.

    And naturally, thank you on your effort!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/NiagaraReporter/
 
Scroll Up.wpzoom (color:black;}