Things Keep Getting Worse With Restaino in Office

A typical alleyway in downtown Niagara Falls

Right about now, the walls are closing in on Bobby. Even if he wins, he loses. Emails and messages have flooded in to the Reporter with tips and stories about Mayor Robert Restaino’s private life. Some are so tawdry and cringeworthy that they won’t even be mentioned here.

Election season will take its toll on any incumbent. But for Bobby, this election season has been quite revealing. Despite what we see on the surface, such as union endorsements and public support, there is a very different story unfolding behind the scenes.

Having lived in Niagara Falls my entire life, this writer has lots of friends in many different places. Homeless friends and wealthy friends, and everything in between. All of whom are saying the same thing: The Mayor’s approval rating is as low as it can be.

Union members have pledged their support only from fear of retribution. It seems that union contracts are designed to coincide with the mayoral election cycle, with expirations and renegotiations occurring right after every election. This allows the incumbent mayor to put pressure on unions and threaten job cuts if support is not pledged. And people in Niagara Falls wonder why nothing ever changes.

Just when you think things can’t get any worse… things keep getting worse due to Restaino’s disastrous micromanagement style of administration.

Unions were designed to protect workers from abuse and corruption. In some ways, the system works. If union presidents guarantee loyalty to the powers that be, they are spared retribution. Not everyone is in the union, however, and so the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

Here we are in the year 2023, and our streets are still paved with the same materials year after year, guaranteed to deteriorate over the winter. Instead of enacting solutions to rebuild our roads from materials that will last, taxpayers are left confused and upset at the pot holes and degradation.


The answer is “planned obsolescence.” Roads that were built in Rome during ancient times are still intact today. Don’t let anybody gaslight you and tell you otherwise, by saying “they didn’t have snow plows!” It’s 2023 and there are other materials we could build our streets with, but we don’t. Come spring time, construction jobs guarantee wages for union workers. Those union workers vote.

No, it’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s just how it works. With nearly one-third of our city budget going to emergency services, one would think our crime rate would be at an all time low. Instead, it’s just the opposite, with crime continuing to rise under Restaino’s rule. Even though we pay taxes, we all pay an additional and excessive garbage fee for refuse services which Restaino pledged to remove.

Remember how that went down? It was either “cut a dozen patrol officer jobs or approve the garbage fee,” and that was an election year stunt. We can all thank Councilman Ken Tompkins and his deciding vote so that he could guarantee his re-election to council. Luckily, Tompkins is retiring from city council, but sources say that he will be appointed head of Code Enforcement.

The garbage fee was meant to fill a gap, and the threat of cutting law enforcement jobs was used to force us into this fee. That gap has been filled, as the city has received payment from the Seneca Nation of Indians (which was being held back during that time) plus funds from the American Rescue Plan for pandemic relief… yet we still pay the garbage fee. In fact, it will probably increase in the coming years, whenever the government needs more money. Prior to leaving office, Councilman Bill Kennedy attempted to put a cap on the garbage fee, so that it could never be increased. Tompkins and the rest of the council voted ”no,” contending “what if we need to raise it in the future?” Make no mistake, this means that they will raise it in the future.

The unions have been weaponized. They’ve pledged their public allegiance to Mayor Restaino. Yet nobody knows who anyone truly votes for once they are in the privacy of the voting booth, and every individual has the opportunity to vote with their head and their heart, instead of in lockstep with their union endorsement.

An uncut ribbon is like the Bat Signal for Mayor Robert Restaino.

Dozens of people have relayed the message to this writer that their unions and co-workers cannot stand this mayor. Hundreds of city employees call him “The Photo-Op Mayor” because he only shows up for photo-ops to cut ribbons and hand out grant money. He acts as if those grants come from his own personal finances, but in reality they are funded by the taxpayers. Behind the scenes, even his closest confidants snicker at his performance.

pastedGraphic.pngInstead of showboating, Mayor Restaino should focus on cleaning up the streets. Due to his negligence and refusal to address murders and violent crimes, he has blood on his hands.

Perhaps the mayor’s only ally is his brother and city administrator, Anthony Restaino. The mayor and his brother have made it so that all department heads and all city service requests must go exclusively through one of Bobby’s chosen minions for all decisions. Instead of delegating and trusting the experts, the mayor and his brother micromanage every aspect of our city. Most requests and complaints are being ignored, and because of this there is an increase in resident complaints about broken streetlights, garbage pickup and potholes. Most of their complaints have been left unanswered all year long.

Basic functions have broken down because it’s all too much for two men to handle on their own. Mayor Restaino is a megalomaniac and control freak. He doesn’t trust anyone except for his brother. His focus has been on Centennial Park and he’s let the city fall even further into ruin. Shootouts and now even sexual assaults are a daily occurrence and he doesn’t even address all of the senseless gun violence, murders or rape cases. He has absolutely no awareness of the Broken Window Theory and he claims zero accountability for any of our city’s problems.

Mayor Restaino’s physical appearance has deteriorated

You might even find Robert Restaino pitiable. In his videos he appears to have aged exponentially. His face is worn, and he has the same look in his eyes of a hunted deer. Remember, however, that he did this all to himself, by suppressing the voice of the people with his special meetings which effectively shut out the public. His personal agenda became more important than the needs of the taxpayers he swore to serve. He didn’t act as a public servant when he was a judge and he hasn’t acted as a public servant during his time in office. He only cares to cater to those who support his personal agenda. If you disagree with him, you’re dead to him and good luck receiving any attention concerning any matter.

Robert Restaino wishes to be remembered for something great. He hopes that Centennial Park will be his legacy project. When people like him, with unchecked egos, enter into positions of power, this is exactly what transpires. He’s caught several windfalls, through no merit of his own. The casino money and American Rescue Plan funds arrived without any effort on his part, and that’s all he has to brag about because he hasn’t brought one single private development project to our city during his first term.

Bobby the Clown

Mayor Restaino is willing to use underhanded tactics and petty politics to get his way. This election has shown us his true character, and it’s worse than we ever could have imagined. Every single person who sends an email to the Reporter with an anecdote about the mayor wishes to remain anonymous, because they fear what will happen if they go on the record regarding what they know. It makes journalism difficult, but not impossible.

We all know that this city is corrupt. It has been since Urban Renewal began and Mayor Restaino is following that exact playbook to a T.

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Gerald Skrlin
7 months ago

Very good observations

” Every single person who sends an email to the Reporter with an anecdote about the mayor wishes to remain anonymous, because they fear what will happen if they go on the record regarding what they know.”

Robby was the one who signed the “Code enforcement” approval to place dumpsters and containers to obscure the Lavinia E. Porter House” historic significance!

Blight the heritage tourist zone right Bob?

Merani wants it.

Daredevil Museum sold $640,000 at $107 per square foot!

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