By Tony Farina
Vincent Cauley is a member of the Republican majority of the Niagara Falls City Council, named last December to fill out the term of retiring council member John Spanbauer.
Cauley and fellow Republican Michael Gawel are candidates for the two open seats on the council, and Cauley tells the Niagara Falls Reporter there is much work to be done in many areas for his city and that’s why he’s running for election next month.
“Public safety is the number one issue in this election,” says Cauley, who says his interaction with the community makes it clear that crime and public safety are the major concerns of the people.
“That’s what I hear from the community,” says Cauley, referring to crime and public safety concerns, but he adds that he believes the city is going backward, not forward, in many ways under the administration of Mayor Robert Restaino, who is also running next month for a second term.
And incredibly, Cauley says the current administration makes it virtually impossible for lawmakers to deal directly with department heads who say they need permission from the mayor or the city administrator to talk to lawmakers.
Cauley, an RIT graduate and an engineer by trade, calls the city’s position on public safety concerns and economic development “unacceptable,” and that’s why he’s going door-to-door in his campaign to deliver his message to voters and get their feedback on what’s on their minds.
As an example of the city’s backward thinking on economic development, Cauley points to the current impasse between the Restaino administration and NFR over competing development projects. The mayor wants to build an events center for which he has no money, while NFR wants to build a digital campus on John Daly Blvd. on land they own, but that is under eminent domain pursuit by the city, which has said it wants the land for the mayor’s project. NFR and its Toronto-based partner would pay for the digital campus with their money, not taxpayers’ money.
“We should be rolling out the red carpet, not the red tape,” says Cauley, noting the potential high tech jobs and new tax money that NFR’s digital campus could bring to a poor city in need of both.
“The city is moving in the wrong direction, on the wrong track,” says Cauley who describes his campaign as “full steam ahead,” saying there is much to be done in so many areas to make life better in the Cataract City.
“The police need our support, but I also believe they need to break down the wall with our people, put more effort into community policing to help the city get back on the right track on public safety,” says Cauley.
“The police force needs to get up to date on all fronts, especially in working with the community,” he says.
“I’m out there every day in the community in my door-to-door campaign, and I hear the concerns firsthand,” he says.
This is Cauley’s first campaign for public office and says he is in it because the best way to promote change and make things better is to get involved in politics.
Cauley definitely believes change can come to Niagara Falls and that’s why he is doing all he can to win his own seat on the council and represent the city where he was born and raised.
Cauley speaks of opportunity that he says is there if people would pull together, and that’s where he’s putting his hopes in the campaign, that people want a better city, and will vote for change to get back on the right track.