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SEP 15 - SEP 22, 2015

Touma, Dyster Reduce Crime Fighting To Photo op Aimed at Inner City Voters

By Mike Hudson

SEP 15, 2015

Despite a nearly complete lack of acknowledgement by anyone at City Hall, grisly murder scenes like this are becoming a common sight in Niagara Falls. City Council Chairman Andrew Touma says "If you know something, say something." But he doesn't know anything.
Here is a picture drawn by someone without much artistic ability of a building that may or may not be built at some time in the near or very distant future here. If you know something, say something.

If you know something, say something.

For Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and city Council Chairman Andrew Touma, it’s more than just a slogan on a T-shirt worn by inner city residents here.

When Touma was running for city Council in 2013, he said there was no crime problem to speak of in Niagara Falls.

“I wouldn’t say public safety is a major concern, Touma told former mayor Vince Anello on the latter’s radio program shortly before the 2013 primary. “You know, I’ve been walking all over this city, in all wards, and I have never had one problem with anybody with regards to crime or feeling unsafe. I’m telling you, but would I walk down an area at 2 in the morning on Third Street? No, I probably wouldn’t. Or let’s say 4 a.m. No! You have to use your head.”

But a rash of unsolved murders in the city’s North End have got Touma singing a different tune. Now he says the crime problem is so bad the police can’t handle it on their own.

“We need help from the public, not just for violent crimes, but for all crimes,” Touma said Saturday. I think for the most part our streets are safe. We do have our challenges, but we need to take these challenges head on.”

And then he paraphrased Hillary Clinton, getting some mileage out of her old “it takes a village” chestnut.

“It takes a community to resolve them,” Touma said of the challenges.

Many people here think that the Democratic primary was stolen by Mayor Paul Dyster this week but, thus far, no one has said anything.

Likewise, some think that do-nothing Buffalo developer got a steal on the downtown real estate formerly known as Parcel 4, being charged just $100,000 for a property that was appraised at $1.5 million.

And then there’s the case of the almost $200 million from the Seneca Niagara Casino, earmarked for “economic development” that never took place. No one has said anything about that either.

Crime is where you find it, and while Touma is finally taking the time to explore some of the mean streets he didn’t know existed a couple of years ago, he might do well to start paying more attention to what’s going on around him at City Hall.

If you know something, Andrew, say something.







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