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Thursday, October 29, 2015

I find it hypocritical the Democratic Party went out of it’s way to determine that Anita Mullane's opponent had outstanding taxes to pay, when Democratic City Chair and candidate Ed Tracy is in the same boat, owing almost $2,000 in back city taxes!

Tracy called the error an “oversight” and “inexcusable.” If his conduct is “inexcusable” now, what will his conduct be if elected?

It also shows little awareness of the challenges that many Lockportians and individuals throughout the United States are facing and trying to cope with daily. I would doubt that either had much experience in small business ownership and the struggles that have been imposed upon them by government at all levels. Small business owners often make daily decisions on which bills get paid. This doesn’t make them bad people or irresponsible financially. It’s a simple numbers game, you have a certain amount of money and bills and utility costs that continue to climb. Maria Updegraph and her husband took a risk, ended up having to spend more money than anticipated rehabbing a building, and it hasn’t paid back yet. That’s what small businesses are facing due to government spending, taxation, and regulation. This week two more businesses close on Main Street and Schimschacks, a long-time staple in the area.

Ironically, most of those that have laid their scourge upon her are the same folks that complain about rundown houses and buildings and nobody cleaning them up. I see few of them, buying up those properties and taking the same risk that Maria took. As they talk, she took action. Which is more important to you? Who has the bigger impact on a neighborhood, those that criticize and complain, or those that step up and risk their own money?

According to the City, there are many people that are behind on water bills, refuse bills, and taxes etc. So, I’d say that someone that has been in that same situation represents the people fairly well.

According to the Union Sun & Journal and the last City Council meeting, Anita Mullane was not available to receive nor did she proactively seek out information when she was expecting it, on a city contract agreement when the email was sent to wrong address. Whose responsibility is it to ensure that they have the info they need to vote on? But yet, she has plenty of time to research, with her city paid relative, the tax history of her opponent.  Lockport needs good government not poor politics. Let’s leave that to the State and Federal levels. They’re very good at it.

A simple look at Mrs. Mullane’s voting record will show who she’s truly looking after. Voters should take notice.

  • for the SAFER Act Grant that the city would’ve been unable to afford post grant funding
  • against the SAFER Act Grant that the city could ensure they could afford post funding
  • against the reduction in pay to the Treasurer 
  • against the Director of Finance position 

The Treasurer’s salary in 2006 was $45,000 per year. It is currently at $83,000. How many private sector jobs in this city have had their salaries nearly doubled in the last nine years? It is completely illogical to have the main individual responsible for the financial welfare of the City in the hands of someone that won a glorified popularity contest. How many voters are aware of a candidate’s credentials that make them qualified for this job? Having a hired position, based on merit, not popularity is just logical.

The SAFER Grant has been an issue of a lot of contention in the City as of late. The original grant, which Mullane supported, was written for four. What happens after the grant runs out in two years? We bring in four firemen and in two years either through attrition or through layoffs we’re right back where we are today. The LFD will be understaffed and the City will have no money to do anything about it. Do we really want to be in the same place, fighting the same fight two years from now?

So, Anita’s voting record is thus, she’s against taking steps, getting the right people in place to help fix the financial problems, against bringing in one firefighter using grant money, that we pay for anyway, that can help with staffing and yet still be affordable for the city once the grant funding runs out. And she’s for keeping the status quo and short-sighted legislating from crisis to crisis. We need to remain focused on the long-term stability and growth.

-- Talan J. Pomeroy is a City of Lockport resident

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