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FEB 03 - FEB 10, 2015

Only in North Tonawanda: Kudos to Man Who Criticized GOP

By Sweeney Payne

February 03, 2015

Sweeney Payne

We realize that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Therefore, we were delighted that one of the few residents of North Tonawanda unafraid to put his name to his opinions on the way North Tonawanda has been run for the last decade used it in a letter to the editor in the final edition of the Tonawanda News.

Mark Houghton, known by most of us as active on the local Democratic committee, began his letter (which the newspaper added a title to, "Time to end GOP patronage is now," with "Only in North Tonawanda could this happen. You can't make this up."

This column does not support any political party or leanings. From our observations, we as residents have been treated in the last ten or so years as if we are all idiots and it doesn't matter what we want, by all of them. When a person Is elected (or as seems to be the more popular way to get them in place these last couple of years, by appointment) to be one of our public servants, the instant they get sworn in, they forget the public servant part and it all becomes more political cronyism and favoritism. Keeping us in the dark on most of what they do and why they do it is the obvious objective once they are in office.

Last week, we submitted an open letter to our newly APPOINTED Mayor who we thought we elected to be Alderman at Large, and to the Common Council. Last week, we knew that loyal Maziarz and also Burgio sycophant, Catherine Schwandt was APPOINTED to fill the role we elected Arthur Pappas to. The Free Dictionary describes a sycophant as "a person who attempts to gain advantage by flattering influential people or behaving in a servile manner." We certainly have had a plethora of them in North Tonawanda in the last decade.

This week we now find that long-time Maziarz political sycophant Malcolm Needler is vacating the other position of Alderman at Large we elected him to for another patronage plum, after his heart problems kept from fulfilling the alderman role for part of the year, Robert Clark, was also handfed as a political novice after changing to the Republican party, because he was good at following orders as a retired military man, into the Alderman at Large position we elected Pappas to fill which is now occupied by Catherine Schwandt who we haven't elected to anything since she declined to run again a couple of years ago. Makes you dizzy, doesn't it?

Keep in mind that George Maziarz and David Burgio became serious enemies when the Maziarz GOP organization refused to endorse Burgio for a second term. Burgio took over as the first full-time four-year Mayor in the City's history in 2002. He had four years of accomplishments and had some good visions and some not so good ones. He didn't, however, tow the party line; so he didn't get endorsed for a second chance in the last year of his first term. He has since been insidiously gaining control of various organizations, City Boards and Commissions, and, using his business buddies, has been working from within and from without to serve his own financial objectives.

We have many more requests to submit to our APPOINTED MAYOR and soon to be 2/5 APPOINTED Common Council with the hard of hearing President who often seems to not know what is going on. But we will share with our readers some of Mark Houghton's written comments in the now totally deceased newspaper because of their relevance:

"We have:

• The highest taxes in the country.

• Horrible, aging roads and infrastructure.

• A significantly underutilized, hugely expensive water treatment facility"

Although we aren't politically oriented, we believe we need to eradicate all who have become politicians and elect only those who are and will remain public servants. We agree with citizen Houghton that "the Republican travesty of good government continues."

Pappas has been both a Democrat and Republican in the last ten years, ran for Alderman before and wasn't elected by us, ran for Mayor against the Republican endorsed replacement for Burgio, Mike Carney. He then put his support, along with that of Republican turned whatever he became before he became a Republican again Burgio, in order to help Democrat Larry Soos beat Carney. Soos was made hamstrung most of his tenure by the GOP.

Houghton continued, "First we appoint inexperienced people to government office based on their political affiliation through a travesty of an "interview" process. Many good former office-holders such as former Mayor Burgio and the former head of the Niagara County Legislature, John Tylec, were granted lip service. But then an inexperienced, although good person, Art Pappas, is "appointed" mayor."

He continues, "Then, to add insult to injury, they appoint Cathy Schwandt to finish Art's time as alderman without any consideration of Jim McGinnis, who polled well in the November elections. Now we have an opening at clerk/treasurer. We will certainly see another Republican loyalist appointed regardless of his or her qualifications or experience."

We especially appreciate Houghton's last paragraph: "Isn't it time for all of us to step up and end this patronage travesty? With a cloud of legal suspicion hanging over the head of this monster, George Maziarz and crew, the time (has come) here to end the years-old cycle of blatant disdain for the citizens of North Tonawanda's best interests."

We agree wholeheartedly with you, Mark.


Democrat Mark Houghton has beef with North Tonawanda GOP.






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