Kenyon Getting Big Bucks From Police & Fire Unions in Bid for City Council

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Staff Reports

Alicia Kenyon says she is committed to public accountability and government transparency, but the Democratic candidate for Niagara Falls City Council has some political observers questioning where her loyalty will be if she’s elected to office given her acceptance of significant contributions from the city police and fire unions.

Political sources say Kenyon has accepted more than $6,000 from the police and fire unions in her bid for the council, calling into question whether she will be able to make tough decisions on union contracts going forward as the city struggles with gaping budget deficits.

One of her opponents for the council, Republican John Spanbauer, has warned voters there are no easy choices ahead for the city to reduce spending emphasizing in his campaign the need to review, “obsolete union contracts and contract provisions that are costly to the city.”

Spanbauer has stated that he has many questions related to the city budget, specifically the payroll, saying he’s trying to understand why there are so many employees making very hefty salaries, with 16 employees making over $150,000 and two making over $200,000.

Kenyon would reportedly like to add more to the police ranks even as the budget crisis worsens due in part to the ongoing stalemate between the state and the Seneca Nation over revenue sharing. In fact, Kenyon stated during a recent council candidate forum on Thursday, October 24th, 2019, that she wishes to add at least “fourteen” police officers. Coincidence? Not likely. 

There are indeed tough political decisions ahead for the next mayor and council. Political leaders will have to decide how to raise new sources of revenue and reduce costs if Niagara Falls is to survive.  Those are issues that either Kenyon or Spanbauer will have to deal with come January 1st, 2020.


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