September 16, 2007

Supervisor Letter in Its Entirety

The undersigned wish to announce their grave concern at the recent development of political factions in Niagara County. Historically the County has been impacted by its various political parties which have run candidates on issues supported by those parties. Now it appears that it is individuals with agendas and not the political parties that control the issues.

In the recent past, that system has broken down, with the Republican party, run by Senator George Maziarz and the Niagara County Republican party Chairman, Henry Wojtaszek, among others, preempting political discourse and attacking candidates in their own party with whom they don't agree. Clear examples of this are the Republican attacks against Wright H. Ellis in Cambria and John Sweeney in Somerset.

The Maziarz - Wojtaszek group has also compromised Democratic candidates, naming their own slate of Democrats who, when elected, caucus and vote with Republicans, at the direction of and in support of the interests of Maziarz and Wojtaszek.

This is harmful, destructive and deliberate activity by the Maziarz-Wojtaszek machine. The result being that the interests of residents of NiagaraCounty have been subjugated to the interests of their special interest politicians, Maziarz and Wojtaszek. Some examples are:

- the AES PILOT with its huge cost to NiagaraCounty taxpayers;

- the fiasco of dealing with Niagara Power and County power coalitions resulting in losses of millions of dollars to County residents and taxpayers and resulting in lawsuits by aggrieved parties;

- the attack by Maziarz and Wojtaszek against the integrity of Town Government by attempting to usurp the power to Town sewer and water services by attempting to transfer those functions to Niagara County politicians and their political allies;

- taking control of the Independence and Conservative parties in NiagaraCounty;

- the use of State funds and grants to foster the interests of Maziarz and Wojtaszek and not to the betterment of NiagaraCounty, its local governments and its business community.

To stop this political virus from destroying NiagaraCounty, we are asking for your support for the following candidates in this year's election, all of whom are dedicated to bringing sanity back to the County:


Return Niagara County to its people by electing these candidates who are independent of and opposed by the Maziarz-Wojtaszek machine.



Tom B said...

Lockport residents beware...Town of Somerset attorney Ed Shoemaker is ready to rob you again. Shoemaker committed highway robbery by securing a PILOT of $0 for the Lockport Power Plant near Delphi. Lockport residents have the highest taxes in the area because this PILOT removes $200 million in payments from the taxing jurisdictions. The IDA is controlled by Lewis Staley, an executive at the Lockport power plant and on Shoemakers payroll. Staley and Shoemaker are out to rob Lockport again. Leffler and WLVL slept during the first robbery - maybe they will wake up and get motivated. Scotty bitches about the tax problem but gets steamrolled by Shoemaker and Staley. Is WLVL on the shoemaker bankroll as well???

LOCKPORT — A temporary tower to measure weather conditions is to be erected shortly in the town industrial park as a preliminary to a possible wind power or biofuels complex.
Lewis L. Staley, administrative director of the town Industrial Development Agency, said that Delphi Thermal and Interior is one of the entities interested in a possible alternative fuels project.

Delphi receives steam from a natural gas-burning co-generation power plant owned by Lockport Energy Associates on a site adjacent to the industrial park located on Upper Mountain Road near the Delphi plant.

“Our interest is purely exploratory at this point. It’s an interesting option,” Delphi spokeswoman Deborah Ayers said.

Staley, an executive of Fortistar, the company that manages the co-generation plant, said the tower would cost about $20,000 and will be paid for jointly by the IDA, Lockport Energy Associates and Delphi. Ayers said she couldn’t confirm Delphi’s involvement.

Staley said, “We’ve had Canadian companies come in, looking at [the IDA park] for an ethanol plant.” He said there has also been interest from wind and biofuels companies.

“With any one of these renewable energies, when you fill out an application, you need wind data,” Staley said.

The 197-foot tower will be up for about 18 months, measuring wind speed and direction as well as temperature, humidity and precipitation. It will be anchored to the ground by guywires, according to information disclosed at a recent town Planning Board work session.

Town Planner Andrew C. Reilly said the town is considering an ordinance next year that would regulate windmills. “They’re looking at what they can do with alternative energy,” Reilly said.

The tower would be fairly close to a 300-foot communications tower the state Department of Transportation erected behind its recently constructed garage on Junction Road. Town Attorney Daniel E. Seaman said the DOT tower would not be available for the meteorological study.

Scott Leffler said...

Tom B,

On Friday, I asked for people to call in and air their complaints about Ed Shoemaker. No one did. Not ONE.

Your crazy concept that somehow WLVL is being dictated to by an attorney from Somerset almost too crazy to refute. But I will. We're not.

I wouldn't know Ed Shoemaker if I ran into him. I wouldn't be surprised if you wouldn't either.

Again, we're on GOP talking points on an attorney that's outside the fray while the majority caucus gives away millions, which doesn't seem to bother you.

Where does your $200 million figure come from. It's not present in the Prohaska story. Is Prohaska on Shoemaker's payroll as well?

And if I read the story right, it takes place in the TOWN of Lockport. Does the TOWN have the highest taxes in the area? I'd suggest you research that.

Do you have to actually wear makeup to play the role of rodeo clown? Or can you just wear regular clothes, Tom B?

Tom B said...


Let me slow down for you, since you seem poised to miss another fastball from Ed Shoemaker. Slow means digesting new facts and not your usual talking points emailed courtesy of Rivera, blogger Bender, Larock or Shoemaker. Let me repeat, the Lockport Power Plant pays $0 in property taxes. Please stay focused - Prohaska and Terrari missed this as well. I suspect the Lockport Power Plant should be paying $10 million per year. But Shoemaker negotiated a deal with Lockport for $0 - that's right this business does not pay one cent in tax. So, as a Lockport resident I end up paying for this robbery. Since Shoemaker and Staley are at it again, you should expect a similar outcome.

Scott Leffler said...


So you have information that wasn't in any of the press ... and I'm the one with talking points? Makes sense to me.

Of the four questions I asked you, you answered one ... and your answer was that you assume there would be a $10 million annual tax payment. Do you actually KNOW anything? Or wasn't that information in today's packet?

It's also interesting that there have been several threads on this blog lately that have been of substantive topics ... hijacked by someone wanting to throw mud on Shoemaker.

I have nothing FOR or AGAINST Ed Shoemaker. But if you judge a person based on his enemies, he probably deserves public support.

Do you not want us to talk about the letter by the supervisors? I personally found it very refreshing. I know that some here will call it sour grapes. I, personally, would like to see more independent thinkers from both parties. I think that the GOP in this county put too much power into the hands of just a few men.

Neither Henry nor George are philosopher kings ... so I say the GOP should divest their power for the good of the county and the party itself.

Anyone else care to comment on the letter?

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of whiny losers!

What exactly is the job of a party chairman? Isn't it to win? If so, Mr Wojtaszek has been incredibly successful.

Merrill Bender said...

First - thanks to Sail Away for being fair minded and postng the Letter.

I do not see this as a sour grapes thing at all. Having it in print is very powerful when republicans have been whispering the concern for some time.

When Current County Legisaltors have also told me similar concerns and asked me to keep their names confidential because they are scared they will not get elected without Henry's endorsement.

Wojtaszek and Maziarz are doing much more than winning for their party. This letter points out the concern that they are destroying the party from within for Special interest gain.

One Republican committemen put it this way "Henry gets what Henry wants", that was his conclusion after a county wide Republican committee meeting where hands were counted very quickly to Henry's favor and many thought he was out voted.

In the 21st century we would hope our Democracy was healthier than previous centuries and not a Tammany Hall throw back of party bossess and party control.

When many County employees are scared to put oppositon candidate lawn sign in their yards, You can start connecting the dots to the Supervisor's letter and see the poison that Henry and George are causing in the party and in the County.

Republicans are getting tired of both of them and they do not want to win to then be under the thumb of this kind of political tyranny.

The divide has come between County Republican operatives and local Republicans who want to take their party back or at least push out Henry and George from thier small towns like Somerset, Roy Hart and Cambria.

The letter supports John Sweeney in Somerset becasue they know that Richard Meyers is a puppet of Henry's and AES. I have hours of discussion time with Meyers and I am convinced that he gets his talking points from Henry and AES.

Blaming attorneys is a smoke screen and a red herring to distract people from the truth and from the big issues in Niagara County politics.

Pirate's Code said...

A couple of thoughts, on the letter:

-- A letter like this would never have been written ten or fifteen or twenty years ago, when the authors were in office. Why? Because things were done THEIR way -- all the time. Now that things are being done differently, they don't like it.

-- Whether we're talking about Henry W. or Dan R., there is relatively new blood leading the major party machines. Both are beholden to some old line party leaders, to be sure, but both appear to be shaking their respective parties up a bit. Not a bad thing.

-- AES was being used a cash cow by various tax-collecting entities, particularly Somerset and Barker, acting as if it were still the 1980s when utilities were free to simply pass tax increases along in the form of customer bills. All of that changed with deregulation of the utility industry in NY, yet towns and school districts continued to whistle past the graveyard. This type of argument has taken place all over NYS, where ever large generating stations are located -- Dunkirk, Tonawanda, Oswego, etc. Was the PILOT the best way to settle the issue? Only time will tell, but it might prove to be a better alternative than the inevitable court fights.

-- I have mix feelings on the fusion voting thing -- Dems being endorsed by the GOP and, more recently, vice versa. What does it say about the strength of either party organization if they have to cross over to find qualified, electable candidates? On the other hand, at the level of government we're talking about, qualifications should be more important than affiliation.

-- The notion that a GOP endorsement "compromised" a Dem candidate is silly. Candidates have been seeking as many endorsements as possible for as long as their have been elections.

-- I don't mean to pick on just one of the authors, but I lived in Pendleton during the Ray Beiter years. Things in that town were done Ray's way...and only Ray's way...or their was hell to pay.

-- The letter may make a few valid points, but it strikes me as pinning for the good old days, ignoring the fact that Niagara County's economic decline didn't begin yesterday.

-- I'm shocked...shocked, I say...that people think George Maziarz is exerting influence. (Somebody must like George -- he seems to win big every time he runs.)

-- In the end, though, it's good that stuff likes this comes up from time to time. Nothing like an intramural squabble to keep everyone on their toes.

Party of Lincoln said...

I'm a Republican and proudly support Senator Maziarz, as nearly 70 percent of the electorate does.

Merrill, you have sent out six mailings in the last six days and still haven't filed a financial disclosure form in violation of the law. We know that the County GOP is funding certain races, but who if funding yours? I hear Shoemaker. If that's not true then say so.

Scott, if you decry the bossism of Henry and George then guys like Connelly should make you sick. This guy had a no-show job in the Senate decades ago and used every position he ever had to feather his nest. He's mad because the fight over sewer and water is a fight over towns sups being able to take care of their cousins and broters-in-law.

As development happens in towns like Pendleton, Cambria and Lockport, new people without ties to the past are moving in and the nonsense of these old, crooked supervisors isn't tolerated. These guys ran their town like little fiefdoms and can't stand the fact that they are now irrelevant.

I'm glad Ray Beiter weighed in. Ray, the last time we heard from you was a year ago when you sent that letter to Pendleton voters attacking the Catholic Priest. Tell everyone how that worked out.

These old-timer, has beens should go back to playing canasta. They screwed up this county enough when it was there time.

Guys, don't go away mad. Just go away.

cg466 said...

Party of Lincoln said...
I'm a Republican and proudly support Senator Maziarz, as nearly 70 percent of the electorate does.

Count me as the 30 percent that doesent work for the County.What has your boy good King George done for the private sector. I dont support George. Hey pass the Kool aid Fool