People’s Voice Edition: Gaming Stalemate to Deal Niagara Falls a K.O. Punch

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Frank Bauhm: The mayor took control of a city budget in 2008 that was approx $89 million. The mayor then built the annual city casino allotment of approx $18 mil DIRECTLY into the ANNUAL BUDGET, increasing it to about $107 mil. With the casino funds GONE the annual budget is SHORT by that amount. This isn’t rocket science…the mayor mismanaged the money with the blessing of the council since 2008. The state directed the city to use casino funds for provable economic development projects. Instead the city largely used it for salaries, stipends, office equipment, patronage jobs, overtime, loans and grants to city hall friends, $50 mil courthouse, $44 mil train station, vehicles, consultants, outside lawyers, building trades program, industrial park project and the list is endless. NOW THE CUPBOARD IS BARE and the administration is crying to the media (three newspapers and a TV station in a week). Mayor Dyster won the lottery and now he’s broke. That should be the HEADLINE.


Robert Russell: Cuomo didn’t care about Niagara Falls when he renegotiated the compact. It was his stupidity that led to him extending the exclusivity without extending the payments. Technically, the Senecas are in the right here.


Charlie McNeely: The move that the Senecas pulled with no payments after 2016 was genius. Heads should roll of whomever didn’t catch this in the contracts. Dyster is only out for himself and looking for an appointed position with Cuomo.


Anthony Antonacci: The only solution that should of took place years ago was to bring in a spending control board. We have received $250 million from the Seneca’s since the casino opened. The people of Niagara Falls are so stupid to keep electing Dyster. The definition of insanity is to keeping doing the same thing and expecting a different result. I’m very disgusted and frustrated along with many other people with the way this city is managed and I place blame on the city council too for their decisions.


Ian Stirling: The original compact was crap, and they bought it. They received the money and squandered it, we let them. I don’t trust them with a single dime, don’t care if they found it on the floor. I do not want to see any agreement until we have responsible leadership in OUR offices.

We need new fresh leaders that will ignore the Senecas money and focus on rebuilding without them. Later, when a reasonable and achievable plan is in place, ask them to partner with the city.

Rebuild, not plunder.


Geoff Conkey: The City bankrupted itself with its own fiscal illiteracy. This is not the Seneca’s fault whatsoever. This money was never intended to creep into the general budget, nor was it meant to be blown on brilliant ideas with absolutely no return on investment like the train or police stations. There is zero competence, nor has there been for several decades, in city or county government. Even if they accomplish the imaginary goal of becoming a Mecca for tourism, it will do absolutely nothing in terms of creating enough jobs/wealth to regenerate the decaying swaths of the city. This is all pretend. I hate to say this, but barring a miracle, anyone who says the city isn’t heading towards insolvency is either a fool or choosing to be ignorant


Erin May Ryan: I would save Niagara Falls by giving entire city back to Seneca’s.






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