We at Niagara Times believe that the success of Niagara County rests, in part, with the success of the city of Niagara Falls. That's not to say that other parts of the county don't have great attractions, they certainly do. But even with Old Fort Niagara, Olcott Beach, the Lockport locks, the canal in North Tonawanda and so many other wonderful attractions in the county, our main draw is Niagara Falls. That is why we have had high hopes for first term mayor Paul Dyster, who promised a new and better way of doing things.
Unfortunately, we're not sure that much is changing. Photo Violations Technologies, the British Columbia company that installed 96 meters for a pilot program last summer, is planning to begin removing them at noon today. The fact that they're pulling the plug isn't a big deal. Companies and municipalities try experimental processes every day. What is a big deal is the reason PVT states for pulling out.
In a statement released Sunday, Photo Violations said it will pull the plug on the digital meter experiment, blaming criticism from Council President Samuel Fruscione and “mounting frustrations with an administration that seems unwilling and unable to follow through on its initial obligations.” Ouch. No sugar coating needed.
"An administration that seems unwilling and unable to follow through on its initial obligations". There is no reason to think that PVT has some political agenda. They're simply a company trying to be successful. What's the stumbling block, at least locally? Shockingly, it's Niagara Falls politics.
Councilman Sam Fruscione, who was named by PVT in their reasons for pulling out, had this to say, “I don’t get involved in operations. That’s not my job.” Hmmmmm. It sounds like you were plenty involved in operations, Sam, until the hammer fell and you went running for cover. I certainly wouldn't want to be in a fox hole with you.
Yes, this is parking meters we're talking about, but this situation is part of a bigger picture. If outside companies wanting to do business are going to be run out of town because of antiquated councilmen who are incapable of change, put a fork in the Falls.