Petition Started for Control Board in Niagara Falls

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By: Nicholas D. D’Angelo

Managing Editor

Activist Terry Kline thinks it’s time for a change. 

“Niagara Falls is in a state of fiscal crisis,” said Kline. It’s time, she says, for the state to impose a financial control board.

She started a petition on Change.org to get residents of Niagara Falls to sign to request from the governor a control board for Niagara Falls.

Here is what Kline writes on https://www.change.org/p/new-york-state-city-of-niagara-falls-requests-a-control-board

“Citizens of Niagara Falls, NY cannot afford to continue paying for the mistakes of [the Dyster] Administration. The unnecessary spending, excessive positions and salaries, impractical union contracts, and crippling mistakes…. By requesting a Control Board, this would stop [the Dyster] Administration from continuing to destroy “OUR” city!”.

A financial control board is a state imposed entity and can modify financial plans, establish spending limits, impose wage and hiring freezes, and suspend or reject contracts (including collective bargaining agreements).

A financial control board is comprised of state appointed individuals, which means they can make politically unpopular decisions. 

They can force the balancing of a budget by curtailing services and reducing labor-related expenses, such as implementing wage freezes, conducting layoffs, and modifying benefits. These are changes elected officials are hesitant to implement.

A financial control board would remove the decision-making ability of Dyster and the council and force the city to live within its budget.

In explaining the importance of a control board, Kline told a little of her story.

“[J]ust like you, Niagara Falls, NY is my home. Most of my adulthood, I spent trying to get out of Niagara Falls, just like the many that have already left. When I left, I experienced … being homesick. … I missed friends and family, but Niagara Falls is very different from other places; the people, atmosphere, obviously the ‘Wonder of the World,’ and don’t get me started on the food. I started getting involved with the City’s Government when I moved back. I refuse to sit around and complain, while my home is going down the drain. Please join me in this fight, to get our city back!

So far about 200 people have signed the petition. Obviously a lot more are needed to get the governor to pay attention. 

Of those who have signed, here are a few comments they’ve made:

Steve Stapleton: “I am tired of paying for all the politicians mistakes.”

Ann Law: “I’m signing because the current administration has repeatedly proven that they cannot take the hard steps necessary to balance our budget.”

Clare Carr: “The monies they are asking for are just going to be misspent. We need a control board.”

Mark D Graff: “I grew up here and I could have left 30 years ago. My dad said to stay; things will get better, but they never did. It’s been 45 to 50 years since Mayor Lackey tore this city down and through all the mayors and city councils we had over the years, they never followed the plans that were drawn. None followed through and now with the new budget, none of who represent the constituents of Niagara Falls had the courage to do the right thing and vote “no”. Only two did and so there’s still no plan. We’re on life support; we’ll be broke within 5 to 7 months. If no one that we elected in the last 50 years [can fix it] the only way to fix it and the corruption that goes on here, is a control board and a full investigation from the New York Attorney General.”

Daniel Davis: “If the Mayor and City Council will not act, we have no other choice!”

Teresa Lasher: “We need good management of our taxes.”

John Campbell: “Tired of the same Bullcrap. We need positive change.”

Laura Lasher: “Concerned homeowner here – some good things going on but lots of not so good too. We need direction without bias!!”

Timothy Hutchins: “Our city is broke! You need to cut taxes, and MASSIVELY cut spending!”

Vernon Lohan: “Our mayor, Paul Dyster mishandled all the casino revenue.”

Paulette Calandrelli: “Tired of the boarded-up houses and as a housekeeper at hotels, tourists coming and saying ‘nothing here to do,’ so stay 1 of their 2 or more nights’ stay and leave.”

Valerie Khan: “I’ve only been saying for many years now that our city needs a control board. Just look at what it’s done for Buffalo!”

Rebecca Guarino: “I agree with Terri on all points. The spending of money the city doesn’t have is rampant.”

Nancy Chandler: “Our mayor is an irresponsible jackass!”

 To join the effort and sign the petition you need only go to https://www.change.org/p/new-york-state-city-of-niagara-falls-requests-a-control-board

It takes only a minute and it costs nothing.

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