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SEP 15 - SEP 22, 2015

Dyster's Poor Primary Showing Great News for Challenger Accardo

By Mike Hudson

SEP 15, 2015

John Accardo, ready to work!


When half of the prime voters of your own party vote to throw you out of office after eight years of what you believe to have been sterling leadership, you know there’s a major disconnect.

That’s bad news for Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, the formerly popular two term incumbent who apparently eked out a 73 vote victory in last week’s Democratic primary election.

But it’s great news for John Accardo. The prominent Pine Avenue businessman and former city Council chairman will face Dyster in the November general election. Accardo was a lifelong Democrat himself until he opposed Dyster in the primary four years ago. Sickened by the machinations of party bosses during that race, he changed his registration to Republican.

“What we saw on primary election day is a great argument for open primaries,” Accardo said. “Had the Democratic voters been permitted to vote for whoever they wanted to, the current mayor’s term would be ending on December 31, which it still may be.”

Accardo said the fundamental purposes of government have been cast aside under Dyster, and added that he is eager for a head to head debate with the incumbent.

"This administration has failed. Whether it was Jimmy Fallon calling Niagara Falls ‘sad’ or gaining national notoriety because nearly 200 homes were without water, the rest of America is shaking their head in disbelief,” Accardo said. “Our taxpayers are neglected, and it keeps getting worse. City Hall’s job is to make sure basic services like flowing water and trash pick-up are working, not building vanity projects.”

Accardo said the high taxes – the state’s Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments cited the city as the most heavily taxed in all of New York – have driven away business and residents alike.

“I am a life-long resident and own a successful small business. I understand the daily struggle for survival this high-taxed city has forced our businesses into. It’s not sustainable, it’s not practicable, it’s not working. Period,” Accardo said.

What’s worse, he added, is that the crippling tax burden combined with the nearly $200 million the city has received as the local share of slot machine revenue at the Seneca Niagara Casino have not been enough to improve the quality of life for the city’s residents.

“The number one issue facing Niagara Falls is the management of finances,” said Accardo. “My administration will restructure the budget to make services more efficient, focus on putting residents back to work with living-wage jobs, and develop a long-term plan for appropriating casino money.”

Accardo served nine years on the City Council, including three as Council chairman. He also ran for mayor in 1999 losing to Irene Elia. In 2010, Accardo defeated New York State Assembly woman Francine Del Monte in the Democratic primary and was seen as a favorite to win the largely Democratic 138th district in the general election.

Del Monte remained in the race on a minor party line, splitting the Democratic votes and Republican John Ceretto was elected.

In addition to his general insurance work at the Accardo Agency on Pine Avenue, Accardo is a bail bondsmen and notary public.






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