March 6, 2008

What If....

Since the inception of Niagara Times in June of 2007, we've covered many topics, although the focus has been local politics. From the outset, we stated that this blog tends to lean Republican. It's not that we agree with everything the party does, just as we do not disagree with everything the Democratic Party does. But, your political philosophies are your political philosophies.

While we have tried to refrain from being overtly political, there are those who contribute to this blog, and whether we agree or disagree, we greatly appreciate your participation, who believe we tend to lean too far one way or another on certain issues. This seems to be the case on one topic that often draws more comments from participants than other, the County Legislature. Many of the blog posts cover county politics, with post comments often firing at one another.

So we got to thinking: What if the party in control was different, meaning, what if the Dems held a 14-5 majority and the Reps were in the minority? Remember, it was the November 2003 elections that brought about the shift in control. Going into those elections, the Dems held a slim 10-9 majority. After the elections, the Reps enjoyed, I believe, a 13-6 majority.

So my question is, if the roles were reversed, and that scenario played out opposite, would the county be in a better position than it is now?

Personally, I believe that this imaginary scenario would be comparable to the Upstate/Downstate disconnect that we've addressed prior, with Niagara Falls playing the role of Downstate. My concern would be that too many county resources would be funneled to the Falls. Of course, I could be wrong.

But if you believe the county would be a better place with the Dems holding a 14-5 majority, or if you believe that things are better with the Reps in the majority, please share that as well.

15 comments:

Starlet said...

A thought-provoking post! Well, let's see. If the Dems had a 14-5 majority, Renae Kimble would be the Chairman and Dennis Virtuoso would be Majority Leader. Greg Lewis would still be County Manager. Nope, nothing would be different.

Larry S said...

If I read correctly, county taxes have gone down the past 2 or 3 years. That's all I care about, that and essential services. Privatize it all. Go to a county-wide police force. Sell the golf course. Consolidate the water districts and the family courts, just like the Who Does What report said. Hell, I just came up with a half dozen money saving ideas! Elect me!

Anonymous said...

Nothing would be different. Both parties have ceded their electoral authority over to a disheviled bumpkin named Greg Lewis who has his own agenda.

View From the View said...

I'm not sure how things would look overall, bjt one thing is for sure-Mt View would still be closed. As much as the Dems whined about it's sale/closure, they had the opportunity to invest and renovate Mt View while they were still in control. All the grandstanding in the world will nover change that, Dennis. We know how you screwed us. I have to support the Dems because my union tells me to. But county Dem legislators have never been a friend to the unions. If they were, they NEVER would have supported giving Lewis another for year deal. He's been the biggest enemy of the unions, and Dennis and his lemmings stand right there with Lewis, sticking it to us the whole time. They should be ashamed to call themselves Democrats.

Anonymous said...

One area where we would be better off would be relations with Albany. It always helps to have access to the Governor and his staff and given that we now have a Dem Governor, I'm not sure how plugged in the county is.

Anonymous said...

In fact View, I'll do you one better- I believe the Dems actually hired Lewis and his resume included the sale or closure of a long term care facility.

Also, I have heard Lewis repeatedly state that union employees benefits are "too rich." When he got a new contract, I believe the vote was UNANIMOUS, so everybody must agree, Dems and Reps alike and if the unions support a legislator who supports Lewis then they must agree also.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it would change that much. The issue isn't Dem and/or Rep, it's the legislators. It's time to get all 19 out of there and start with a new slate of people that care about the county. Both Dan and Henry want total control and don't care about us as long as they win. In fact as I see the Dems are destroying the state as much as the Reps are destroying Niagara County..........Get Rid Of All Of Them and start over!

Larry Castellani said...

I would criticize the Republican majority but then the deep thinkers that populate this site would only conclude that I must be a DEMOCRAT agent, given their black-white paradigm (sorry I didn’t have time to define that for ya’ll as was requested from a previous post.) Well, I am a democrat but with a small “d.” And we all know that size doesn’t really matter if you don’t know how to use it. …. Mr. Hobbes’ thought experiment is so prejudicial!! What about the Libertarians out there. And I’m really a Neo-populist Federalist if ya’ll care. If you want to read about it, consult the Telos Journal, Vols. 1-142. …. And I don’t think either of these 2 Real parties would know a political philosophy if it came up and bit them on the neck. Nor would they know a real principal if it lodged in their throat. And is there any meaningful difference except the degree to which one ignores and discounts the poor, blacks, gays, non-Chistians, anti-war protestors and Niagara Falls more than the other???

Anonymous said...

larry as always you are such a blow hard!

fat tony said...

Larry,

I'm usually a supporter, but you're off the mark here. There is no formally recognized liberatarin party in NYS and the minor parties haven't run their own candidates. So Hobbes questions is a legitimate one between the choices we voters in Niagara County have.

Plus, at the local level, traditional wedge issues and loyalities of the differing philosophies really don't apply. Who cares where you stand on aborition when your ability to influence things boils down to how much money should be in the county budget for NCCC?

No, Hobbes has asked a good, smart question here about whether we even have opposing views of government to choose from in this county. I say when you look at it closely, it really doesn't matter who is in charge.

Anonymous said...

Sad but true - Dems always lead to decay - decay leads to crime, Dems address crime by making a criminal act a syndrome instead of a crime - thereby allowing perpetrators out of prisons to prey on others -
We are much better of with a Republican Majority - everywhere- Watch what will happen in Albany once the Dems take over the senate- we will slide right into the abyss .....
What is the real reason for a governing body? It is to maintain order.

rob clark said...

Dem leads to crime, are you serious? The Gop majority doesn`t listen or answer to anyone. ( well almost anyone they have to answer to the KING)TAHT IN ITSELF IS A CRIME TO THE TAX PAYERS. But Im not sure how much would be differn`t if the sides were switched. I can tell you one thing though. poeple in this county would have voices heard!

Larry Castellani said...

fat tony,
I hear what you’re saying. I don’t think we have a choice, period. So there’s a choice between no real choice. There’s a Repub power block at present so I hear. Part of my much too obscure point is that the cultural/religious questions probably don’t count at this point in NC’s demise. And I think you’re right, sadly enough, that political action here otherwise seems to come down to, as you say, how we’re going to ration money.

I’m sure you’re right about the Libertarians not being formally recognized. There is a presence of a few who consider themselves Lib’s. Maybe more. Who knows? My comment about neo-populism isn’t about a party but it’s a theoretical position and clearly doesn’t have any base anywhere except in my mind and that’s a pretty lonely place. I try to write and think from a neo-populist point of view. And it does have a literary history in the journal called Telos. I have read it since 1969 and the editor, a guy by the name of Paul Piccone, now deceased, I consider a genius and my mentor of many years. But I guess that’s neither here nor there.

As you say, at the local level “traditional wedge issues and loyalties … don’t apply.” But if that’s the case, why can’t the county community act as One. The local loyalties and sources of animosity seem to serve only to infantilize and disempower us vis a vis Albany. Whose benefiting from this virtual stalemate???

I’ve read some of Frank Parlato’s stuff on Albany and their role historically of expropriating Niagara’s resources. Some of what’s happened here historically seems to begin to fall into place. But there’s got to be a “wedge” here that I just don’t see, just don’t get. What is it??? Why, as it seems some might say, would it all come down to being taxed to much??? I really don’t get it and I’m trying to understand. If we know what’s happening to us, why can’t we do anything about it?

I don’t know that it doesn’t matter who’s in charge. That attitude, which I hold regarding national politics, I suspect does not really hold at the local level. I’m all ears!!!

DS said...

Same stories, different names.

Fat Tony said...

Larry, now you've nailed it. Considering traditional philosophies don't apply locally, we should be able to act with some measure of common purporse but don't, to our detriment. The answer as to why this occurs is because both sides would rather fight over a small helping of patronage than do what's right.