This letter is in response to the editorial view in the Union-Sun & Journal on Monday, May 9, 2016. Sadly, this newspaper lacks journalistic integrity by choosing to report misleading information to the community rather than reporting the facts.
Here are the facts this newspaper failed to mention:
- The “poor city democrats…out of power for so long” were not the party responsible for putting the City of Lockport into 10 years of deficit financing with New York State.
- The city’s refuse program was implemented in 2011 to save the taxpayers money; however, any savings cannot be determined without a complete audit, which Alderman O’Shaughnessy requested in his resolution. At no time did we state that we were unhappy with Modern. Our goal has always been to ensure that City of Lockport taxpayers are receiving the best possible price for refuse collection. The bidding process exists for that reason.
- We were not at the special meeting to explore the Modern issue because it was held, over our objections, during the day when we both work and cannot attend. The mayor refused our request and held the meeting without us.
- The request to move forward with the RFP process quickly was made due to the window of opportunity for RFP’s closing. A copy of the Modern contract was requested from the City Clerk and Corporation Council months prior to the special meeting. To date, we have still not received a complete copy of the signed contract.
- The common council consists of 3 elected Democrats and 3 elected Republicans, with votes to date being cast in a bi-partisan manner. How does this constitute an “opposition bloc”?
- We listen to all suggestions and regard city employees as valuable assets. The streets superintendent and several city employees asked what it would cost for the city to reinstitute pickup.
Here are the questions this newspaper should be asking:
- Why wasn’t the Modern contract given to council members in a timely manner when it was requested? Who leaked the Modern renewal prices, which should have been confidential, to the Buffalo News? Residents are being charged $75 to replace refuse and recycling carts -what is the actual cost of replacing these carts?
- Why doesn’t the city receive the recycling refund?
- Why is employee morale at city hall still at an all-time low?
- Why is the city paying so much for outside legal services?
- Why is the city exposing itself to legal repercussions from city employees who may have been denied rightful promotions?
- Why was the police union contract settled in an election year, while the other 3 contracts remain unresolved?
Politics isn’t what is getting in the way of city business. The mayor who believes this city should be run as a dictatorship is holding this city back. Sadder still will be the day that we return to a rubber stamp council. We have signed our names to this letter, unlike the editors of this newspaper who hide behind their pens.
-- Anita Mullane, Alderwoman, 2nd Ward
-- Joe O’Shaughnessy, Alderman-at-Large
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