In a stunning betrayal of open government and transparency, the Niagara County Republicans sabotaged a compromise Tuesday to move most public speaking to the first 30 minutes of its legislature meetings.
Last week, during the legislature’s Administration committee meeting, Paul Wolf of the Buffalo Niagara Coalition for Open Government spoke and recommended passing a legislator’s resolution that would move “For the Good of the County” speaking to the beginning of the meeting.
Currently, residents wishing to speak to the legislature about non-agenda items must wait usually two or three hours to do so.
Additionally, the meeting is adjourned so [...]
If you’d like to speak for “The Good of the County” at Niagara County Legislature meetings, chances are you’d be waiting two or three hours to do so.
You’ll also find the meeting has just been adjourned. So the gallery is mostly empty, and department heads and legislators could be heading out. Furthermore, there’s zero record of your comments in the meeting minutes.
“The process you have isn’t very welcoming or encouraging,” said Paul Wolf, president of the Buffalo Niagara Coalition for Open Government, during last week’s administration committee meeting.
Wolf has made the trip to Lockport several times to speak before the Legislature. [...]
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.
You really don’t want your local municipality going into executive session because it often means bad news.
A lawsuit against the town or city. A sticky personnel matter. Or contract discussions. At the very least, an issue the public should be aware of.
So be wary — be very wary — when the council calls to go into executive session.
Before they retreat behind closed doors, though, listen up to how they go about it because 97 percent of the time in Western New York, they’re doing it wrong.
“I move we go into executive session for the purposes of litigation” is a commonly heard phrase after you’ve [...]