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Mayor Restaino’s Perception of Reality Questioned Amidst Development Controversies

Is Mayor Robert Restaino losing his grip on reality?

In his latest campaign ad—trumpeted with great fanfare for days on Facebook—Mayor Robert Restaino suggests NFR and Urbacon’s Niagara Digital Campus development proposal is not real.

Not real?

• Is Mayor Restaino suggesting the company Urbacon, a Toronto-based developer and operator of state-of-the-art data centers, isn’t real?

• Does he not remember meeting with Urbacon officials in September 2021, then visiting the Urbacon facilities… weeks before he turned his back on the privately funded Niagara Digital Campus project, and instead decided to launch his speculative and unfunded Centennial Park project?

Is it plausible for Restaino to assume that a company as reputed as Urbacon, founded in 1984, would falsely express interest in Niagara Falls?

• Does he think Urbacon is faking its interest in bringing a data center, with high-tech jobs and economic opportunity, to Niagara Falls?

• Or is something else causing Restaino to reject external investment, job creation, and economic development?

• Is the Mayor trying to distract from his administration’s lack of progress in creating meaningful economic projects and jobs?

• Does he believe NFR created a company called Urbacon in 1984… got Urbacon into the data center business… then, in 2021, directed the company to contact the City of Niagara Falls… all to try to put one over him?

The broader concern is that Mayor Robert Restaino appears to struggle to understand what is real and what is not.

After seeing a clearly confused and possibly medicated Mayor Restaino put his hand over a TV camera during an interview – as if that could stop transmissions – more and more people have questioned his grasp of reality in this ill-fated decision to halt a $1.5 billion project in lieu of a fanciful but unfunded arena – Cluelessville Park!

• What motives could the Mayor have for turning away a potential economic boon like this?

• Does he believe Urbacon’s track record of successful data center projects is false, and they’re somehow trying to deceive him?

For example, he extols the virtues of developers like Rod J. Davis, who Restaino recommended for a Restore New York grant that would have reimbursed Davis’s company, Power City Ventures, $1 million in costs while rehabilitating 10 to 12 city properties—properties sold to the company for $50,000 by the City of Niagara Falls.

After an exposé in a local newspaper showed Davis had a long history of unpaid vendors, bounced checks and outright fraud, the grant was canceled.

Rod Davis

According to the Niagara Gazette, Power City Ventures, LLC was recommended to receive the grants by “Mayor Robert Restaino’s administration, which submitted the necessary paperwork to position the housing project to be eligible for Restore New York funds.”

And he’s still promoting Mr. Davis and his company – most recently at an event on September 6th, where Restaino gave the opening remarks in an event featuring Davis as a speaker.

Meanwhile, Urbacon is waiting—nearly three years later—hoping to build its $1.5 billion, state-of-the-art data center. The Niagara Digital Campus is estimated to bring 5,600 construction jobs and more than 500 permanent jobs to residents of Niagara Falls, along with the infrastructure to build the future in today’s high-tech economy.

Yet Robert Restaino says it isn’t real. Does he believe what he’s saying?

From his attacks on rival mayoral candidates, to his use of the power of his office to benefit political supporters, one fact is clear: Robert Restaino is a desperate man saying and doing desperate things to cling to power.

Or maybe his grip on reality really has slipped.


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