It got pretty geeky at the Buffalo Niagara Coalition for Open Government’s recent forum featuring Susan Lerner from Common Cause and Alex Camrada of Reinvent Albany, two state-level advocacy groups seeking to establish local connections.
Subjects ranged from the need in smaller communities for elected representatives to file financial disclosure forms to the state comptroller losing the ability to review contracts and how that contributed to the Buffalo Billion corruption as well as professionalizing the state’s board of elections and making sure “shadow government affiliated non-profits” follow the same open meeting and FOIL laws as [...]
President Trump has called New York — home to high taxes and low temperatures — a “failed state.”
So what exactly does that make Niagara County?
And yet, local elected officials across this land of apparent plenty and prosperity — at least for those on the “Friends and Family Plan of Niagara County ®” — are giving themselves raises left and right in an environment they see as nobody watching or caring.
Commenting on the pubic pillaging is a mortal sin, inviting fierce pushback which ultimately keeps criticism — and even just discussion and disclosure — to the bare minimum.
Former residents of Niagara [...]
Former State Senator George Maziarz says he’s sitting on a motherlode of damning information about his former friends and colleagues that threatens to burn down the Niagara County Republican Party he spent 30+ years building.
This bombshell information surfaced during his own trial for inappropriate use of the Maziarz political treasury and includes unsavory pushed-through deals at the county level — and much more — involving the political figures he helped create: attorney Henry Wojtaszek, recent Niagara County GOP chairman Scott Kiedrowski, Assemblyman Mike Norris as well as other widely-known political figures.
It doesn’t mean anything.
Or does it mean everything?
The city’s public workforce got a strong show of support from the Dyster administration as well as the Andrew Touma-led city council on Wednesday last week when it passed a resolution “expressing its grave concerns regarding the Janus case and its outcome for our economy and our workforce.”
Although the resolution doesn’t call for any specific action by the administration or council — as the city tries to craft a 2019 budget under a loss of $13 million dollars and previous budgets substantially propped up by casino dollars intended for economic development — it still [...]