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JAN 06 - JAN 14, 2015

Only In North Tonawanda!

By Sweeney Payne

January 06, 2015

Editor Eric Duvall of the soon to be closing Tonawanda News.

Only in North Tonawanda! That's what I heard frequently this past week.

The soon-to-be-departing editor of the Tonawanda News, Eric Duvall, put in a FOIL request after attending a Common Council meeting for the soon-to-be-no-more newspaper, and was in apparent disbelief that the public was not going to be informed as to who the 10 applicants for interim mayor of North Tonawanda had actually been.

Many North Tonawanda residents have been fuming privately about this total disregard for us by those we elected to serve us on the Common Council.

After the announcement that the Common Council had selected Arthur Pappas as interim mayor, the FOIL request evidently brought the Council to their senses and they released the resumes of all 10 candidates to the Tonawanda News.

Why were we not given the opportunity to hear the interviews of the three finalists? We are able to listen to candidates at debates when they are running for office.

Where else but North Tonawanda would you elect a man to be Alderman at Large and then end up with him as mayor without the voters having anything to say about it? Where else would you find that the alderman position you just elected the now-to-be mayor to fill will also be filled by the Common Council and the man who was the other candidate in the November election, James K. McGinnis, and actually was voted for by residents, is not even to be considered for the spot?

------ Several conversations I've been privy to in recent weeks have complained about the tax credits given out to bring businesses in from outside the community, resulting in ever-increasing property taxes for residents. Will the high property taxes in North Tonawanda and the excessive costs of water and sewer service be on the radar of our former Mayor-off-to-be-State Senator, Rob Ortt?

I heard a couple of those speaking to me ask how long the departing mayor will continue paying those high taxes and water and sewer costs? Will he move from North Tonawanda to another section of this senate district where taxes, sewer and water are cheaper?


The first response to my first column last week came in and I'm sharing it with our readers:

"I read with interest your article as a North Tonawanda resident writing for the Niagara Falls Reporter. While a significant portion of it was correct, I need to enlighten you about one area: the concerts.

"The Wednesday night concerts are run by the Gateway Harbor Committee of the Tonawandas. They are a 501-(c)(3) organization receiving no monies from the City. All Board Members are volunteer. All funds are received through grants or donations. Proceeds from the vendors are also returned to Gateway at a low percentage rate from their profits. Security is private, bottle collection is private, port-o-potties are privately sponsored. The trash is the only thing the city is involved with regarding the concerts. So, the Wednesday night concerts are totally FREE. "Gateway also sponsors the Taste of the Tonawandas, the Chocolate Fest, the Haunted Harbor, the Smokin Eagles International Barbeque Fest, the Serviceman's Dinner, The Hooked on the Tonawandas Fishing Tournament. None of the events receive any public funds and admission is free to all of them.

"The concerts at Gratwick Park usually charge admission. Kathy Paradowski, receives a stipend from the City for having her concerts there. She does rely on sponsors and reimbursements from vendors.

"Please don't confuse the two concert venues or practices.


"Beverly Loxterman

"Member of the Board of Directors

"Gateway Harbor Committee of the Tonawandas"

Thank you, Ms. Loxterman, for the clarification. Where do residents and taxpayers learn how much the trash collection we provide costs?


Finally a "first" of sorts for the City of North Tonawanda...

This came from the Newsletter of the North Tonawanda History Museum.

"As far as we can tell, 2015 will begin as the only year in the history of North Tonawanda …. where we have a Mayor we didn't elect, (who we did elect to serve us as Alderman at Large), an Alderman at Large we didn't elect because he or she will replace the man we did elect to that position so he can be appointed Mayor instead; and a City-Clerk Treasurer we didn't elect because the one we did elect is leaving to serve on the staff of our former elected Mayor who was elected to the New York State Senate seat our native NT'er, George Maziarz, filled for 20 years."





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Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina