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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

In an act of desperation an anonymous source sent postcards to second ward residents on Monday accusing incumbent alderwoman Anita Mullane of putting politics over people, turning her back on firefighters, and all in all, taking her stance on the issue of February’s SAFER grant completely out of context. Though sent anonymously, the mailer has the same postal permit number as mail previously sent from Mullane’s opponent.

With election day coming up it’s important for voters to know that everything these postcards states is completely bogus. I was at the common council meeting when the council voted on the grant and even wrote an article for the newspapers about it because I was absolutely floored by the level of incompetence of Lockport's "leaders." Mullane was by far the most vocal representative in favor of the grant, urging fellow council members to vote for the grant in it's highest priority of re-hiring laid off firefighters, which they completely dropped the ball on. The fire department could have received a much more substantial amount of money but the mayor broke a 3-3 tie by casting a vote to oppose the grant in it’s highest priority.

The postcard quotes Mullane, “[I think our chances are greatly diminished] I don’t know why we’d bother applying.” I read the grant, and it makes complete sense that she would say that she didn't know why we would bother applying for the grant under the second premise; Why would we bother to apply to bring back one person due to attrition when we could apply (and without a doubt would have won because we were extremely qualified for) to bring back at least four people due to economic circumstance? An obvious spin of the truth, the postcards do not include the rest of Mullane’s quote, “The whole purpose was to try and bring back four guys ... totally paid for. This was a nice thing.”

To the person who made this pathetic piece of GOP trash propaganda, you really said it right there in the third paragraph: It simply doesn't make sense. It states that Mullane’s vote “will actually reduce the number of firefighters protecting us and make sure they don’t have the tools to do the job.” Even if it were her true stance, firefighters and their tools would not be reduced by not getting extra grant money. Anyway, the only one reducing firefighters around here is McCaffrey, after a pipe dream of her father's that is impractically trying to model Lockport after North Tonawanda’s combination fire department.

In February’s meeting, McCaffrey said that her hands were tied and that she could not support the grant in it’s priority due to “financial reasons.” It should be known that the grant stated that the situation regarding layoffs would be revisited after the grant performance period was over, and firefighters could face being laid off again. However, it would have created a safer community and alleviated overtime costs for at least two years.

I look forward to having an all new council very soon, with the exception of Anita Mullane, the only council member who is not part of the problem. No one else up there seems to have the brain, heart, or courage to do the right thing.

-- Lyndsey Devine is a City of Lockport resident

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