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February 13, 2019

Niagara County’s Independence Party is a total sham! Here’s what you need to know …

“The worst interview I’ve ever had!” exclaimed Independence Party of Niagara County chairperson Susan Agnello-Eberwein at the conclusion of independent journalist Joseph Kissel’s interview seeking the Independence Party’s endorsement.

The roughly 20-minute interview with seven members of the executive committee of Niagara County’s Independence Party started off congenially and innocently enough at 4 p.m. Saturday in one of the side rooms of Wheatfield’s Community Center off Niagara Falls Blvd.

The first question seemed fairly innocuous: “What made you want to get into politics?”

As the only independent professional journalist in Niagara County, during [...]

 
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February 5, 2019

Erik Herbert sets his sights on Niagara County Legislature

Pity the fool that goes into a 1v1 with Erik Herbert.

The current NT school-board member, police officer, political organizer and mixed-martial arts champion announced today he’s challenging majority appointment Jesse Gooch to represent the 7th Legislative District of Niagara County.

It’s an odd fight because two-thirds of the 7th district consists of the Town of Wheatfield, and one-third, North Tonawanda, where Herbert is building a new home on Witmer Road with his wife Diana and their son.

But Herbert knows how to win and succeed, and his previous campaigns — including hard-fought title fights as well as bringing back [...]

 
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October 12, 2018

NT council signs again with accounting firm linked to Lockport’s missing million

Going against the professional opinion of NT chief accountant Amanda Reimer (above), North Tonawanda’s common council voted 3-1 to retain the services of Amato, Fox & Company to perform the city’s annual audit.

Amato, Fox & Company — NT’s audit firm for the last 39 years — was examining the books for the City of Lockport in 2012 when its council balanced the budget with a surplus that proved to be a mirage.

In 2014, the State Comptroller’s Office said the City of Lockport could have avoided some of the resulting layoffs and program cuts if the audit had been carried out differently and if Amato, Fox & Company had informed the [...]

 
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October 8, 2018

WNY open-government group lauded for “critical work” by state-level reformers

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 [...]

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