Finance, Public Safety focus of Perry bid for Council

In Opinion

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My name is Lakea Perry and I am a candidate for Niagara Falls City Council.

Running for City Council is a task that I do not take lightly. I am so passionate about making our city a thriving city again that I lay my time, energy, experience, and personal reputation on the line for the possibility of facilitating great change.

There are three questions I would like to address: What is my financial solution for rebuilding our reserve fund balance? What is my public safety policy? What is the service I plan on providing?

Amending the process of the City’s Bidding and Change Order process, and Request for Proposal (RFP) considerations would be the beginning of a financial plan for the City.

My understanding is that New York State provides a variety of funding sources to the City of Niagara Falls, NFTA, NF School Board, NFMMC, and Niagara County. When funding requests are being submitted, all stakeholders should work together. Furthermore, there must be review to prevent a duplication of services by the various entities requesting state aid. Currently there is a disconnect among stakeholders, and we need each other to have sound financial success.

Another way of reducing spending is to stop allowing manipulation of revenue from occurring through the requests for public funds. For example, a request might be submitted for a health fair, but the stated purpose is for promoting tourism so the money can come from the tourism fund balance. Just because money is available does not mean it should be used. The organization that received the funding could be receiving funding from other sources (i.e. insurance companies for their services and the state). There are more than enough health care facilities that can collaborate together and financially come together to provide these health fairs.

As City Council members we need to spend more wisely, and so “NO” sometimes is the appropriate response. Amending the bidding and change order process would be a top priority for me. I understand that unforeseen circumstances take place and additional funding may be required for projects, but there should be a cap and a level of responsibility on the approved bidder.

I would like to see a report required and included in the RFP, or a so-called “all things considered” report. This process would show worse case scenarios that could occur during a project; approximately how much it may cost to address the issue; and a fair percentage of that cost added into their quote amount.

My concern with our city’s public safety issues has increased over the past few years. There have been many factors that contributed to this concern globally and locally, but I would like to propose two solutions.

One being the re-implementation of Operation SNUG (guns spelled backwards). Operation SNUG provided a presence through its community involvement that built relationships between the residents and our city’s police officers. Its purpose was to be a “violence interrupter” and provide outreach workers. Since the program has been cut I personally believe this is why there has been an increase in our public safety problems. Another solution I would recommend is a city-wide curfew for youth seventeen years old and younger.

As a parent I am concerned with the number of children I see walking or riding their bikes late at night.

For the past several years, I personally have been working behind the scenes mentoring men and women, young and old, on how to obtain employment, training and continued education.

Our community is an improvised community. One way to turn that around is to help as many of our residents gain employment and training through the resources that are available. This will increase their income; thus increasing their purchasing power.

I have helped individuals build/clean their credit to purchase homes and build financial wealth. Increasing taxpaying residents helps decrease our poverty rate. This is why I support the Scofflaw initiative proposed by Councilman Ezra Scott Jr. in hopes of eliminating another barrier that creates poverty. When we work together to increase our community’s purchasing power that in turn attracts investors and developers to Niagara Falls.

As a City Councilwoman I will follow through to see that these initiatives take place, and work with the ideas of my constituents to help make Niagara Falls a thriving city again.

Vote Lakea Perry for City Council this September 12, 2017. Democratic Party, Position #1.

 

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