Vesci's Wife Sees Council's Role as Protecting Taxpayers
By Pamela Vesci
I want to share my thoughts about the upcoming City Council election and what I believe makes a good city council member, but first I’m going to be up front: I am biased, since my husband, Russ Vesci, is a candidate. Much of what I am going to say is why I believe my husband deserves your vote on Election Day (Nov. 5).
A good, effective council member should be trustworthy, have integrity, be honest and hold the interests of the taxpayers above their own at all times. When conflicts of interests arise, those conflicts should be dealt with in a professional manner and honestly and completely explained.
A balanced council should serve as a check and balance on the administration to do what is right for the taxpayers. I think we can all agree on the importance of this list of character traits for elected officials, but too often we don’t see these traits in our local government. In fact, many of these traits are missing more often than not.
Perfect example: I had the opportunity to see a palm card titled “The New Council Majority,” with the picture of Kristen Grandinetti, Andrew Touma, and Charles Walker. This, right off the bat, throws up a red flag. It shows me that these three are only willing to work as their own voting block. In Mayor Paul Dyster’s proposed 2014 city budget, he was proud to say, no large tax increase and no loss of jobs, but his repeated warning of bad things to come in the 2015 budget, and his refusal to raise taxes in the 2014 budget, sure looks like he’s setting the stage by controlling the tax increase this year in order to get his three supporters, Grandinetti, Touma and Walker, elected in November.
This city needs and deserves better than a councilwoman like Grandinetti. We all know how she received too much opt-out health insurance cash for almost a year before the error was discovered and investigated by the DA. Of course she was made to repay the funds, so she decided to pay back taxpayers dollars with taxpayer dollars!! After she pledged to refuse any future opt-out money, she broke that pledge by continuing to receive it. This sort of political maneuvering is simply unacceptable when it comes to taxpayer dollars. If she can’t keep her own finances straight, how are we, as taxpayers, to trust her with our tax money. Mr. Walker, who forgave over $750,000 to the hospital (a private business) in back water bills, has given $1 million to the school board a year, when the school board has a budget of over $120 million. Nothing but giveaway after giveaway. A 16-year councilman and the city is worse than when he took office. Mr. Touma actually stated on a local radio show that he felt public safety was not a major concern in the city. I would love to know what city he plans on representing. These three, the “New Council Majority,” is not the answer. We need council members who are going to be independent thinkers and willing to work with everyone for the good of the city, not just a rubber stamp for the mayor. That palm card “screams” politics as usual in Niagara Falls. This has gone on far too long and the city has suffered for it. Taxpayers deserve a council member that will give an honest approach and straight answers to straight questions, not someone who is going to play hide and seek on the voters just to get elected.
That is where my husband Russ Vesci will be the best man as your next councilman. With his common sense approach to life, together with his great work ethic, he will be able to bridge the communication gap in city government. People are the top priority with Russ while party politics and personalities don’t even show up on his radar. There will be no tricks, no gimmicks, no ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ nonsense, just honest hard work. Russ, through service with the NFWB, has worked on every street and alley for over 20 years and has seen the decline firsthand and hears the frustrations of residents. So who better knows what our city needs? I am extremely proud of a man who has never run for political office, who decided enough is enough, and threw his hat into the political ring to make things better for a city he was born and raised in. Russ is a true man who will always stay true to his convictions. I am not only writing this, as I stated, as Russ Vesci’s wife. I am writing this as Pamela Vesci, a hardworking taxpayer who cares about Niagara Falls and making it a great place once again. I believe Russ Vesci can lead us there.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
OCT 15, 2013