Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 13, 2012

OUR VIEW: Cheers and Jeers

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — CHEERS: Usually when you see several administrative moves by an organization in less than a calendar year, it’s cause for alarm. This isn’t the case with the SPCA of Niagara County, where the year started with investigative reporting that made some startling revelations. However, the SPCA has taken several steps to right the ship. We cheered when it appointed Lockport native Amy Lewis as its executive director. She recently stepped down to become shelter director. Lewis is someone who takes a genuine concern in representing the animals’ best interests. This move should help the SPCA continue its quest to become a no-kill facility, something virtually no one could have fathomed just nine months ago.

CHEERS: Leanne McNall received a wonderful surprise when she received nearly $1,400 in teaching supplies for her classroom from an annual event hosted by Office Max. She’s the first Lockport teacher nominated to win this windfall, which will benefit students not just in her classroom, but in others as well. (She’s planning to share with her Charles Upson Elementary co-workers) Congratulations to McNall, and let’s hope that her prize inspires another local winner next year.

JEERS: In a continuation from our last “cheer,” we learned that in 2011 the Lockport Office Max gave out its school supplies to a classroom in Kenmore. Why? There were zero local entries, so they had to look outside Niagara County. We understand that when one is shopping, he isn’t thinking about spreading the word to get someone nominated to win a prize. Still, with schools cutting budgets wherever they can, it wouldn’t hurt education supporters to be on the lookout for these grants. After a while, the small ones add up.

CHEERS: A public discussion at Roy B. Kelley Elementary School this week brought out a large crowd to engage in a healthy discussion about the Lockport City School District’s desire to purchase Kibler Park from the city to help alleviate traffic congestion around the school. This was a wise step to help dispel rumors and to bring forward the many sides to this story There’s plenty of work to be done before a decision is made on whether this will become more than a wish, but at least there’s dialogue.

JEERS: A not-so-rosy picture was drawn when Mayor Tucker last week turned over his 2013 budget to the Common Council. A 25-percent tax rate hike would be required in order to maintain the status-quo. Clearly this won’t happen. There’s only two choices: union concessions or layoffs. No one’s in an enviable position with this. Not the mayor, the common council, city employees or their respective collective bargaining representatives. A bold new approach is going to be required to lighten the load of what the citizens will shoulder, or else we’ll be looking at a similar situation next year.