February 28, 2008

Niagara Greenway Funding Battle

While the Niagara River Greenway Commission attempts to reach consensus on the rules for the committee that commands $3 million in annual spending on Niagara River Greenway projects, there has been a different battle brewing below the surface.

Niagara Times has learned that an internal struggle between Niagara County's ad hoc committee to review proposals for Greenway funding and to determine which proposals will be submitted to the commission for approval and County Manager Greg Lewis has been ongoing for some time. Apparently, while the committee has been working together towards agreement on how the annual payout will be distributed, Lewis has been coming up with his own list of projects to fund, and in the process, attempting to supercede the authority of the committee.

Niagara County's portion of the $3 million, $390,000 each year, is for development along the county's Greenway trails. They include the Erie Canal, county winetrails, Lake Ontario and the Niagara River.

Once again, we need to point out that Lewis thinks he is charged with running Niagara County. Folks, we elected 19 people to represent us. Right or wrong, good or bad, they are the ones who are responsible to the people who put them in office. Lewis is a fly-by-night wannabe brought in by the Dems in 2003 to close Mt. View. He answers to no one and doesn't believe he should answer to anyone. It's time the County Legislature take a look at this embarrassment who appears on LCTV looking like someone who just woke up from sleeping under a bridge. He's not a manager, he's a dictator in sheep's clothing.


proud democrat said...

The one night I turned on LCTV and he looked like he had just been dusting. He looked dirty and was dressed in a red sweatshirt? Doesn`t he relize that he was representing Niagara County. Why is it that he doesn`t have to take calls during this? He seems to think that he doesn`t have to answer to anyone. I gree with Hobbes that this man needs to go. But not at the cost of giving the Majority Caucus entire control. Lets bring in a County Executive to run the show. Put it up to the voters this fall. We can have the election for the position next fall.

While I`m at it thanks to all of you who fueled the fire and created a stir of nonsense about LCTV. The GOP contoled board that runs it has put a sensor on everything know. Way to go poeple. Good job.

Frank DeGeorge said...

Hobbes, I'm glad you're staying on top of Lewis because many of us feel the same way. When he follows his job description...which is essentially keeping the trains of Niagara County government running on time...he's pretty good. But when he tries to ram through his own vision for our future, he's a disaster.

I'm tired of his act.

Anonymous said...

I agree Frank!!

Fawn Leibowitz said...

You're right Frank. This "campus" idea of Lewis' is still a problem for me. How can the county legislature continue on a path for this public works facility when lewis initially said it'd cost $15 mil, and now the cost is $40 mil? None of them are questioning this? I know updegrove is the maj leader, but is he the only one on the legislature with vocal cords? Or don't any of the other ones have the balls to speak up? Every meeting its the updegrove/virtuoso show. SOMEONE else PLEASE show us that you are capable of speaking!!

Northender said...

I sound like a broken record, I know... but here's a better solution...

Cut my State/Fed taxes by however much we're paying for the Greenway fund.

Allow the local gov'ts to tax what they need to for the Greenway Fund.

Problem solved. No bickering, as each community will be responsible for spending their own money the way they seem fit.

Anonymous said...

Ya'll are forgetting that the County is part of the Power Coalition.

Remember, if the PC loses the Zito lawsuit, where will the money come from?

The 7 member PC represents the following tax levels municipality, school, and county. Aren't they already in the hole and digging deeper?

Are any of the Greenway projects Mr. Lewis is suggesting part of that new County Master Plan?

Anonymous said...

Each member of the NPC agreed that they would not interfere in each other's Greenway Projects so the the county doesn't need to roll into a master plan.

Lewis is all about controlling everything. Here's a new theory for you: The political fighting in Niagara County has never been worse than it is right now. Legislators from either side hardly talk and personally loather each other....and Greg Lewis is the reason why.

Greg wants factionalization because then neither side can get rid of him. He plays one off against the other constantly, both publicly and privately. He has created mistrust and personal hatred. It's a cynical approach.

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