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Posts Tagged ‘transparency’
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May 31, 2017

Councilman says administration not giving him equal access to information

With Tuesday’s council approval of a $1.3 million rehab plan for about 35 streets, the City of Niagara Falls has exhausted the last $430,000 in remaining casino funds.

“However, we may not use the entire amount,” said Niagara Falls City Administrator Nick Melson (above) in response to a question from councilman Kenny Tompkins regarding how much was left in the fund.

“We’re not going to put anything away for next year?” Tompkins asked. “If this casino stalemate goes on next year we won’t have any funds except for CHIPS funds.” (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program).

“That’s a decision we are going to [...]

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May 28, 2017

Asking for the mayor’s calendar yields wildly varying results, transparency group reports

There should be no secrets when it comes to the functioning and record keeping of local government.

Information should flow freely from administrations and municipal departments to residents and taxpayers.

An important aspect of that is the calendar a mayor or town supervisor keeps to track their appointments, meetings and other municipal business they undertake to fulfill the 30 hours a week they are required to work to receive their full-time pensions.

The non-partisan Buffalo Niagara Coalition for Open Government recently released a report measuring the timeliness of a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request for [...]

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March 31, 2017

Municipalities in Niagara urged to improve self-reporting, info on websites

If you’re wondering how to advance the existing state of affairs in Niagara County and Western New York then the subject of transparency in government deserves your sustained attention.

Unfortunately, our region currently suffers from local governments that don’t provide the kind of transparency its citizenry deserves.

“When government operates openly and honestly, we, the people, can hold our elected officials accountable, fulfilling our duties as an informed citizenry,” said Paul Wolf, an attorney based in Wulliams ville, who recently published a report about the level of transparency in WNY’s municipal websites.

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July 6, 2016

Transparency wins out over unnecessary expediency adopting N.F. feral-cat law

“I don’t understand the hesitation,” said Niagara Falls councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti at Monday’s city council meeting just before changes to the city animal code regarding “community” cats got tabled.

“We’ve gone to the SPCA and gotten her expert opinion,” said Grandinetti. “We went over all the language with her. We reached out to the community about it. We have spent three weeks, Mr. Johnson and I, on getting this together, and I don’t understand the hesitation.”

Councilman Charles Walker responded: “The hesitation, in my opinion, is that not everyone has actually read the key changes. It gives the misconception that [...]

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