February 14, 2008


The announcement that Niagara County Sheriff Tom Beilein will be leaving his current position to take a job with the New York State Commission of Correction has been the worst kept secret in town. Look for former baseball great and current department Chief Deputy Jim Voutour to be appointed the next Niagara County Sheriff.

Over the past week or so, I've had a specific phone number appear on my caller ID 11 times. Since it was an Ohio number that I did not recognize, I figured it was some type of solicitation. Last night at 6:30, while helping my daughter with homework, they called again. This time I answered it. This Ohio number that kept calling incessantly, 216-589-0214, was someone wanting to sell me a subscription for the Union Sun & Journal. Yes, the US&J outsources their subscription solicitations to the great state of Ohio. So much for their slogan of "Your Hometown Paper".

Governor Eliot Spitzer was in Niagara Falls yesterday, where he declared "this is a city that is just poised for dramatic development". He alluded to the $100 million Niagara Experience Center as well. Considering the city's history of unfulfilled promises, pardon us if we're just a bit skeptical.

Speaking of Spitzer, shortly after taking office he announced the creation of the Commission on Local Government Efficiency. In a statement, Spitzer said "We must consolidate New York’s multiple layers of local government – those 4,200 taxing jurisdictions that cost taxpayers millions each year in duplicative services and stand as yet another impediment to change". Each county was then to submit the areas that they are recommending for consolidation within their respective counties. Niagara County's recommendation? Working to establish the Erie/Niagara Geographic Information System Initiative. That's it? That's the best the county could come up with? I'm not sure what County Manager Greg Lewis is doing in his office, but it certainly doesn't appear to be looking for more efficient ways for Niagara County to operate.

General Motors decision to offer massive buyouts to it's employees is sure to have a trickle down effect on Delphi Lockport. Of the many stories that I've read on this issue, none contained a more stunning fact than GM currently spends $130,000 per employee per year. No wonder they can't compete globally. A fantastic take on the massive health care expense of GM can be found at http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2005-06-22-gm-healthcare-usat_x.htm.

Lastly, I had the opportunity to watch the entire Roger Clemens testimony before Congress last night (DVR is wonderful). Being a huge baseball fan, I love Clemens. I love his intensity, his desire and his drive. I love when he chucked a bat at Mike Piazza, accidentally of course. But Roger is lying. He used HGH. Although I don't believe the Department of Justice will ever win a perjury case against him, the court or public opinion is already in. And baseball suffers another black eye. Sad, so sad.


Proud Democrat said...

While having Gov. Spitzer show so much attendtion to Niagara Falls and Buffalo is a vast improvment over former Gov. Pataki, he has to remember that there is more to this area than just those two cities. What about the surrounding towns and villages that can always use help.

N.Tonawanda can always use the help.( But I bet that the common council would mess that up to and blame it on Mayor Soos like they do with everything else.)How about the town of Niagara. Especailly since they provide the biggest sales tax revenue to the county. But they recieve the least back. God knows that Wheatfield can always use a boost with all their specail district taxes that hide " NO TOWN TAXES " nonsense. I could go on and on with every town and city in the county and we could actully all agree on this subject for once that the state need to help us all out.

On the subject of the county manager working on a reduction plan. It will never happend with all of our current elected leaders against it.

johnny walker said...

Consolidation is one of the those buzz words that we frequently hear from politicians. Unfortunately, words are pretty much as far as you're going to get. Action would take some actual effort and cooperation. And as we know, politicians are not going to give up their piece of the pie that easily. Like a town and village of Lewiston and a town and village of Wilson-it's completely ridiculous. Don't even get me started on the school districts. Why we need that many with all of the administration that goes along with it is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how Jimmy V will be as Sheriff, but he can still knock the hell out of a baseball. And yes, Clemens did steroids. He can kiss the Hall of Fame bye bye.

Proud Democrat said...

Yea I agree with the school district comments. Thats a mess. But I wonder what the next election for sheriff is going to be like?

Larry S said...

Two things I can tell you Greg Lewis is not wasting his time on: Shopping at Brooks Brother and working out at BAC.

Anonymous said...

Beilein is the classic example of a politician who is addicted to tax payer money. He might do well in Albany with his bully mentality.
Lord have mercy on who ever gets on his bad side in Albany. I hope they enjoy his KBG style of politics.