Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

June 20, 2013

LETTER: Candidate seeks balance

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Everyone keeps asking me: “Why?” They want to know why would I want to serve on the Niagara County Legislature. That question can be answered with many reasons, but I can offer to you an example of my frustration with county government.

On May 21, I had the unfortunate experience of witnessing what they call a Niagara County legislative meeting. This meeting was nothing more than a petty political show led by the legislative majority leader Rick Updegrove. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the behavior of this political majority given the fact that over the last ten years, this same group has caused Niagara County to be the highest taxed County in the entire United States.

But the May 21 meeting was an extra special type of “meeting” for the majority attack dogs. In that meeting, a member of the Legislative Minority proposed a resolution offering the Buffalo Bills to make Niagara County their home if, and only if, they decided to move out of Erie County. The resolution’s sponsor stated that he only wanted to offer the Buffalo Bills a reminder that Niagara County is open for business and we will make a good home to them. In fact, this resolution was made in response to a report that came out in March on WGRZ which reported that Niagara Falls was one of the long term future options of the team when their current lease expires.

Given the fact that the resolution offered no promises of county money, land or resources, you would think that every member would jump on board and vote a resounding “YES!” But if that is what you thought, then you, like me, were wrong. This majority group took the opportunity to politicize this non-political issue. My opponent this year, Rick Updegrove argued that this resolution will be an insult to those that sit on the Erie County Legislature. Who does he represent?

So when people ask me why I want to become involved in county government, I can offer the canned response: “I want to make a difference.” When one group accumulates too much power, and the checks and balances are limited, the taxpayers become an afterthought. The special interests become the most important constituency of the politician. This has to end, and I hope to be part of the effort to reform county government. 

We have witnessed this for over a decade in Niagara County, and it is killing development and growth here. I was humbled, and overwhelmed by the amount of support I received when I won a seat on the Lockport Board of Education, but I feel I can offer even more to the county taxpayers. I cannot stand by any longer while our county is run into the ground through petty politics.

I look forward over the months ahead to meet the residents of the 12th District, and to discuss ways to better the Lockport community.

Anthony Molinaro Candidate Niagara County Legislature 12th District