Tompkins: What I propose this coming year

Councilman Kenny Tompkins

As the calendar turned to a new year, we watched as Councilmembers Chris Voccio and Bill Kennedy were sworn in for their inaugural terms.

As with all new beginnings, there is a sense of hope. Here are some ideas I am hopeful of implementing this year:

·      There are opportunities to share services with other municipalities and improve our city services to be more cost effective, without impacting their quality.

·      We should pursue additional revenue sources besides raising taxes and look to other cities for ideas.  We have a chance to be innovative and collaborative as we discuss these options.

·      Every city department would benefit from exploring and, where available, applying for grants to secure additional funding.

·      In collaboration with our federal and state elected officials, we should work to secure for the residents of Niagara Falls a greater percentage of our locally generated hydropower and a fair percentage of Niagara Falls State Park generated tourism profits.

·      We must not weaken our resolve to secure for Niagara Falls our fair share of revenues generated from the Seneca Niagara Casino.

·      Review recommendations from the Niagara Falls Financial Advisory Panel and New York State Comptroller’s Office Report of Examination (audit) for areas of potential implementation. This could result in dramatic savings.

·      Merging two or more city departments into one might lead to cost savings and more efficient government.

·      Leaders need to be conscious of the difference between “needs” and “desires.” Compare it to your own budget. There are things you need and things you desire. But there are things you desire that you simply cannot afford. It is the same with a city.

·      Balancing “generosity” to those in need with a recognition that taxpayers should not be expected to blindly shoulder any and every burden of everyone who claims they are in need. We must generous, also, to is our taxpayers.

This year, I will be urging my colleagues to work with me and do our utmost to deliver the best and most efficient government we can achieve for the people of Niagara Falls.

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