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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

OK, Lockport, it all comes down to next Tuesday. By the time you read my next column, you would have already decided who will guide our city out of the abyss and back to respectability. Will it be Roger Sherrie? Honestly, that is who I am pulling for. Why? I feel like he has a better grip on what is going on and what needs to be done. Sherrie also believes in making city government accountable to the people, and I really respect that.

I mean no disrespect to Mayor McCaffrey. I have said several times that I appreciate the job she was forced to do to keep the city from going bankrupt. No matter who wins on Tuesday, no one will ever be able to deny the place that Mayor MacCaffrey holds in the history of our city.

What about the rest of the people who work at the Municipal Building? I do not believe in change for the sake of change, but I cannot see allowing incumbents who have done so much damage to keep their jobs. Of course, not every person on the council deserves to be vilified. I understand that some council members did their absolute best to keep the city on track, but the group effort was lacking.

Don’t kid yourself folks, our city is in trouble. We are burdened with debt, the various departments are understaffed and our essential services are not getting the type of attention they deserve from the city. At a time when the city’s finances are at their worst, we should not have a disconnect between the mayor’s office and the treasurer. But, for whatever reason, we do. I am not laying blame on one party or the other, I am just saying that it needs to change if we are going to get anywhere in the next few years.

Our taxes go up, but our services have diminished. There were roads last winter that were impassable simply because they were only plowed a few times all winter long. The people delivering our services are doing the best they can, but they lack the necessary resources from the city. At the end of the day, the responsibility for that shortcoming falls into the laps of the people in charge at the Municipal Building.

It has been a very long time since an election has meant so much to the future of the city. I commend both mayoral candidates for the way they reached out to the population and laid out their ideas and solutions. There were some unnecessary distractions along the way, but I think the people got what they needed to make up their minds.

What about you, Lockport? Have you done your homework? Do you know why you are voting for the candidate of your choice, or are you just going to put in a vote based on old habits? I said before that if you are not educating yourself about the candidates and the issues before you go vote, then stay home. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Whatever we have by Wednesday morning is what we will have to live with for years to come. The impact of these elections will go well beyond the terms these public servants will serve. The decisions the mayor and common council make will determine how we handle problems that could haunt us for years to come, or put us on the path towards economic recovery.

Remember that no city recovers from its economic problems overnight. No matter who we put in office Tuesday, they will have years of hard work ahead of them. But the key is to take the time to find the people who can offer the best solutions to some of the most difficult problems we have ever faced.

Are you ready, Lockport? Ready or not, here it comes.

+George N Root III is a Lockport resident and guy who will be voting Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3 or send him a message at

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