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MAY 05 - MAY 12, 2015

Only in NT: Untapped Power of Unregistered Voters Need to be Tapped

By Sweeney Payne

May 05, 2015

Sweeney Payne has called Scott Kiedrowski,  "(George) Maziarz's serf," which Payne is entitled to do under the protections guaranteed in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. However we will leave it to the reader to decide if Kiedrowski, the former North Tonawanda City Clerk-Treasurer, and former Niagara County Republican Chairman, who stepped down from his posts to become the chief of staff to state Sen. Robert G. Ortt, is not really a serf, but one of North Tonawanda's sons of royal blood.

(The views of Sweeney Payne are his own and not necessarily the views of this publication. The Reporter encourages intelligent rebuttals to any and all of the views expressed in our publication).

We, the citizens of North Tonawanda, have a right to express our wishes for how our City is run and about what needs should receive priority with what we pay in taxes.

Unregistered voters (those of us who have become so discouraged about not being taken seriously in recent years on what we know is needed in our city while so many things we don't need are paid for instead) represent a tremendous untapped reservoir of political power.

Everyone in North Tonawanda who is eligible to be a voter, not just those who report to the political bosses in any party, the citizens, all of us, need to register to vote early in 2015 so that the for-too- long voiceless silent majority can have a strong voice in the primaries and November elections instead of taking what is crammed down our throats.

Remember, every office except City Attorney, is up for election or re-election this year in November!

IN NT it's not a Republican or Democrat thing, it's overuse and abuse of power and elimination of those they are supposed to serve from the decision making process.

We have managed to vote Ortt out of the Mayor's office and send him off to Albany where he will be ineffective for at least a couple of years but won't continue showing his dislike for anyone who doesn't worship him as a veteran. We're sick of reading his name and seeing his photos. We're fortunate in some ways that, although the Maziarz-Wojtaszek power still reigns supreme. Needler has gone off to another political plum; and Maziarz' serf Kiedrowski joined Ortt in Albany. He at least was bright enough to realize he just didn't have the qualifications to be Mayor.

We never cease to be amazed at how many started out as genuinely nice men and women and then became corrupted by political power once in office. They forgot they were elected to be our public servants, not to make them career politicians reporting only to their party bosses.

Citizens need to be educated by those in power so they can knowledgeably give the input they deserve to provide on public projects. Enlightened citizens often have a better idea of what to do about public projects than the elected officials. In NT, in recent years, news articles have indicated that elected officials don't even know the streets…no wonder they don't get them repaired!

Why are there no people with an interest in and knowledge of the City's history on the Planning Commission? Why so many people with vested interests in making money from planning favoring their own plans? Isn't that illegal?

We need to work together to rectify the ennui of too many citizens who have grown disenchanted because their input has only been used to get or fulfill requirements of grant funding. There has been no reimbursement for their time on such contributions of their opinions and knowledge. Even then, handpicked cronies of the people in power have been used for input to make the end result agree with the wishes of the political machine. Normal citizens aren't really informed of what goes on enough to know of opportunities to make their opinions known or to want to be bothered with giving input from the elite clique.

We citizens continue to criticize, moan and groan among ourselves. We continue to allow incumbents to be re-elected because those supporting other fresh minds or genuine public servants don't get out to vote, and often aren't even registered voters.

We need to have our City Charter reviewed again soon. Some things that need to be addressed :

• Term limits for members of the Common Council. Perhaps two two-year terms in a row and then at least two terms in between being allowed to run again.

• Make it more difficult for those in office to hand-pick others to serve us, whether as temporary replacements for early resignations, death, or just going on to a more lucrative position, as a thank you for supporting those in office financially or by work on their campaigns.

• Create actual specifications on qualifications needed for most appointed positions as we would hope exist for positions for hire.

Remember, citizens of North Tonawanda, veiled abuse of power is still abuse of power.

Do attend a FREE "Voter Registration Training" session sponsored by the NYS Civic Engagement table, CPHJ, and the Clean Air Coalition on Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Buffalo Arts and Technology Center, 1221 Main Street, Buffalo. Lunch will be provided. Arrive by 9:45 to register.





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©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