Percy Raking in Big Bucks for Doing Exactly What Nobody Seems Certain
By Mike Hudson
Some years back, when Niagara Falls Tourism and Convention Corp. CEO returned from a taxpayer funded junket to India, he regaled the lowly local press corps with tales of his travel to that exotic land.
“They treated us like royalty!” he gushed.
Well, today Percy’s being paid like royalty as well as well, on the backs of taxpayers who eke out a meager existence on a per capita income of $18,000 a year.
The guy who has repeatedly claimed, with a straight face, that nobody would come to Niagara Falls were it not for his Herculean efforts to sell our crummy little tourist attraction was recently awarded a salary and benefits package that almost equals the amount it takes 10 city residents to earn in a year.
While the Buffalo News and other media outlets have pointed out quite correctly that the problem in Niagara Falls is that there’s nothing for tourists to do once they’ve actually seen the mighty Cataracts, the NTCC Board of Directors managed to find another, more pressing problem.
John Percy and his staff weren’t being paid enough!
Yes, the board’s first order of business after receiving more than $6 million in casino money was to hand out raises.
And Percy got the sweetest deal of all. Between his base salary and his car allowance, the tourism maven now rakes in around $160,000 a year, just slightly less than New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who earns $179,000 per year.
And that doesn’t even count in Percy's expense account, travel allowance or anything else. In the past this has run around $70,000 per year, and includes all gas mileage, and anything he buys from a $1,000 dinner in London to a sandwich and a beer at the Niagara Falls 7-11.
Percy will also receive a bonus of more than $11,826.40 because the Seneca Niagara Casino money was held up and he didn’t get his raise earlier. There was a 2 percent cost of living increase that was paid retroactively to Percy.
Percy doesn’t live in Niagara Falls and is in Western New York only intermittently. A large part of his life is spent in Europe and Asia, where he travels on your dime, allegedly drumming up business that will ultimately benefit the city.
He’s been on the job since 2003, and the marked improvement in the Niagara Falls economy since then has been nothing short of remarkable.
Just kidding about that of course. Actually the city’s downward spiral has accelerated, approximately 10,000 former residents have fled the scene and beer supply salesman Paul Dyster got elected mayor not once but twice, which gives some indication as to the mental prowess of those poor, unfortunate souls who have been left behind here.
Fortunately for Dyster, his family has money so - when he and Percy pull up next to each other on one of the city’s pothole cratered streets - they can pass the Grey Poupon without thinking about the millions of taxpayer dollars they shamelessly squander in a city ranked as the 53rd most criminally dangerous place to live in the entire United States.
Instead they lie, telling the suckers what a great place Niagara Falls is, how things are getting better and better and how they’ve managed to turn things around in what was once a dire situation.
They lie. They are professional liars. They don’t even have to be that good at it because, after all, they work in Niagara Falls.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
Dec 31, 2013