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February 15, 2018

Secretary scandal can’t go away soon enough for Falls council; summer traffic snarls need solution

There’s one council member who doesn’t have to worry about blinking on the controversial hiring of Mark Diodate as council secretary.

Although Kenny Tompkins said he thinks the council secretary position is necessary since all council members except Chris Voccio have a full-time job, he definitely thinks there were other qualified candidates that interviewed for the position.

“This is not going away,” said regular council commentator Tim Huether during Wednesday’s common council meeting.

In addition to being granted permission to re-submit his resume after errors were brought to light, Diodate’s resume still contained [...]

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February 15, 2018

Niagara Falls hires “cruise director” to bolster unreached tourism potential

If Niagara Falls is going to roll the dice on any industry, without a doubt it’s tourism.

“Tourism is our new industry,” said councilman Kenny Tompkins. “We have to focus making it grow.”

To that end, the council voted unanimously Wednesday to spend $40,000 on a new tourism specialist in the city administration.

The city will be matched by the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp. for another $40,000 covering salary and benefits.

While that marketing entity promotes Niagara Falls all over the world, the new hire will focus on what tourists who come to Niagara Falls, USA, will do when they get here. [...]

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February 15, 2018

City assessor’s $10,000 stipend tabled again; $500k paid out to victim of “dark side” cop

In a surprise move Wednesday, the mayor pulled his resolution to grant a $10,000 stipend to city assessor James Bird.

The council is looking to keep his stipend at the current rate of $5,000 a year for the six hours a week he spends working in Wilson under a shared-services agreement.

Since Bird took on extra duties as Wilson’s real property appraiser, Niagara Falls is now getting an additional $20,000. Mayor Paul Dyster wants Bird to keep $10,000 of that and said he completes some of that extra work during nights and weekends.

The council wants the city to retain the entire windfall. Bird makes $73,000 a year and uses [...]

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November 14, 2017

Pascoal calls for city democrats’ chairman to resign over mailer

Last week, many residents expected Republican city council candidate Robert Pascoal to garner enough votes to join its ranks in January.

Instead, he delivered this address during the public participation portion of Monday’s meeting.

“I would like to read into the record … Niagara Falls is a small town. People know each other and word travels fast. I’m here to tonight to reclaim my reputation. I’m not disputing or contesting the outcome of the race for city council. But I was done an injustice. And I want the council to know it. And more importantly, I want the people of Niagara Falls to know it.”

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