Restaino’s Pre-Election Blitz: Clever Campaigning or Abuse of Power?

In the crunch before election day, Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino displayed a blend of political savvy and desperation.

His pre-election tactics were transparent, something he has not been during his four years as mayor.

Borrowing the taxpayer-funded city’s emergency alert text system – which reaches residents throughout Niagara Falls, Restaino’s campaign sent this text from his campaign headquarters at Niagara Falls City Hall:


The proposed 2024 Executive Budget has been presented and it includes $18 million for road repair and infrastructure and NO INCREASE IN PROPERTY TAX levy.

Like many of his campaign statements, this one bears scrutiny.

First, Restaino’s claim of not raising taxes might play well to an amnesiac electorate, but the record tells a different tale.

Indeed, during his four years as mayor, his budgets previously saddled homeowners with a 4.5 percent increase and businesses with a 7.2 percent hike. Only in this election year did Mayor Restaino find the magic wand to make a slight tax decrease appear for residential properties — a conjuring act offset by burdening commercial real estate with the shortfall.

Regarding the roads of Niagara Falls, an $18 million budget sounds like a fiscal dream. The reality? Residents need not consult the Reporter, but their shock absorbers.


A cruise through the city streets offers a bumpy narrative of neglect — one that Restaino now frantically rewrites as a pre-election patch-up promise.

The un-texted truth is that tire shops and alignment specialists might be Restaino’s biggest supporters, given the boon to their businesses.

The best part is that Mayor Restaino transformed the City’s emergency text system into his personal campaign megaphone.

Meant for alerts on storm warnings and water outages, the city-wide text system became the broadcast channel for Restaino’s last-ditch declarations. If using taxpayer-funded resources to fuel a re-election bid sounds improper, that’s because it sits uncomfortably close to an election law violation.

But with the City’s crime rates hitting historic highs, and the streets resembling an obstacle course better suited to mountain bikes than motor vehicles, perhaps Restaino’s messaging may accidentally ring true — Niagara Falls is indeed facing an emergency — of lack of leadership.

In the waning hours, Restaino has dialed up the drama. Voters must ask themselves: is this the resourcefulness they want in a Mayor?

Or is it a sign of a campaign running on fumes, using every tool in the shed — appropriate or not — to cling to power?

It’s up to the people of Niagara Falls to decide if they want to continue down this road, pockmarked with policy potholes and emergency text alerts turned campaign texts, or if they’re ready to steer in a new direction.

Carl Cain is a retired police officer, who retired as Deputy Superintendent. He is the Restaino alternative.  His campaign emphasizes his background in law enforcement and his desire to serve the City in a new capacity. 

Finally, may we suggest two more text messages for Restaino today:

Alert 1: Urgent Fiscal Triumph Alert!

[Emergency Fiscal Update!] Citizens of Niagara Falls, brace yourselves for groundbreaking news that will NOT deflate your tires, but inflate your spirits! Unlike increasing potholes, your taxes have NOT increased! Mayor Restaino has maneuvered through the budgetary process to grant a minuscule TAX REDUCTION for homes! But please, beware of potholes. Your wheel alignment can cost more than your tax savings! #FiscalAlert #RestainoRoads

Alert 2: Major Infrastructure Extravaganza Advisory!

[Emergency Infrastructure Flash!] ATTENTION all Niagara Falls commuters: Prepare for an unparalleled odyssey through our streets, as Mayor Restaino unveils an EIGHTEEN MILLION DOLLAR roadwork bonanza! Election year brings a spectacular bounty of repairs—so monumental, you might even spot a smooth patch on Main Street! Buckle up and enjoy the ride of our current roads. Each jolt is a reminder of the coming improvements! #PotholeParadise #RestainoRevamps

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
.wpzoom (color:black;}