Why Strong Mayors Need Strong Councils

In Opinion

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In an ideal world, checks and balances would actually check and balance each other.  That is the primary function of the two major branches of government, the executive and the legislative.  The executive leads, administrates and directs the business and relationships of the government.  The legislature passes laws and, where necessary, approves the budget and spending of the executive.

That system fails when the legislative branch allows the executive too free a hand, and as a result, becomes a rubber stamp, rather than a co-equal partner in governance.  That has been happening for too long in Niagara Falls.  It is time for a change.

Typically, the failure comes about when a single political party controls both the executive branch and the majority of the legislative.  Everyone is too concerned with being friendly and playing on the same team to remember that their job is to serve the taxpayers, not the party bosses.  Due to that collegiality, there may be some hesitation to take a harsh stand against a fellow partisan.  That’s why it is incumbent upon those in the opposing party to take their role seriously.

To be sure, this is not a call for obstructionism.  Opposition for the sake of opposition serves no one.  This is a plea for fidelity to duty and due diligence.  A strong council probes, asks questions, and when the situation demands it, says no.

Going along to get along is getting us nowhere.

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