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SEP 08 - SEP 15, 2015

Cuomo, Gillibrand, and Higgins, Oh My!

By Anna Howard

SEP 15, 2015

At a 2013 press conference announcing the signing of the proposed but still un-built taxpayer subsidized Hamister hotel, Mayor Paul Dyster (seated right) applauds as Gov. Andrew Cuomo (middle, seated) holds up the contract, as corporate welfare recipient Mark Hamister (seated, left) looks on. Two years later construction on the hotel has yet to begin.


Cuomo, Gillibrand and Higgins.

It sounds like a high powered Washington law firm. 

In reality it’s three extremely powerful politicians, none of whom live here, pay taxes here, or own a business here, but it’s not stopping them from telling residents to return Paul Dyster to city hall for a third term. 

The three high profile politicos haven’t suffered through eight years of the Dyster administration as the residents have…an administration of raised taxes, a busted budget, a mysterious ever-present deficit, mismanaged money, $90 million in spent casino revenue, a secretive “city hall club” where salaries and stipends and overtime come out of the taxpayer pocket, a $50 million courthouse, a $45 million train station, a $13 million ice pavilion renovation, frozen water lines, and streets littered with trash and burgeoning with crime.

These fantastic three – Gov. Andrew Cuomo, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and US Rep. Brian Higgins - have no skin in the game. No skin that’s readily discernable. We have no doubt that each of them, in their own unique political fashion, would find it convenient to have a pliable Paul Dyster in office rather than an independent and outspoken mayor who’ll go to bat for the residents rather than roll over, time and again, just to go along to get along.

Roll over on the “revitalization” of Old Falls Street, roll over on the Robert Moses Parkway removal plan, roll over on the desecration not renovation of the Niagara Falls State Park, roll over on the never-ending and never accomplishing anything USA Niagara, roll over on the conference center management contract, and of course, continue to roll over on the Hamister hotel project…a project with the longest, drawn out, groundbreaking in modern construction history.

Dyster wants the voters to be impressed with his gaggle of Albany and Washington political buddies that prefer to keep him in office…so impressed that you’ll spend your vote at their direction simply because they say so. Well, they should stick to what they’re supposed to do best: the critical business of Albany and Washington government.

We’ll be impressed with “Dyster’s endorsements” when they include: the residents of 72nd Street, the Cayuga Island community, the city’s many crime victims, the block clubs, the Little League and youth sports organizations, the small business owner, and the homeowner working to pay rising taxes while raising a family.

The folks listed above are the very lifeblood of this struggling city and they’ve been left out in the cold at the expense of powerful political interests, Dyster campaign supporters with bulging wallets, and consultants that see the residents as a bunch of rubes blessed with casino cash that they deserve to be bilked out of.

Governor Cuomo jumped into the city council race two years ago as he joyfully endorsed Walker, Touma and Grandinetti along with the “game changing” Hamister hotel project. We know how that turned out.

For many years Niagara Falls has been told what to do, they’ve been told how to do it, and they’ve been directed to “do what’s right” from the likes of Washington, Albany and even Buffalo. It’s time for the intimidation to end. It’s time for the outside political hotshots that promise everything and deliver nothing to simply go away.

It’s time for Niagara Falls to decide what’s best for Niagara Falls.

 And even the firm of Cuomo, Gillibrand, Higgins and Dyster won’t be able to argue against that.






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