May 19, 2008

The More Things Change....

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.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dyster needs to go! Another idiot in city hall, but what do you expect from the people who vote in Niagara Falls, 98 percent some kind of government handout.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Dyster is the best thing that's happened to this city in years. I may not always agree with his politics, but he has ushered in a new spirit of cooperation among city officials. Maybe I'll eat my words, but give the guy a chance.We shouldn't be charging for parking anyway.

Anonymous said...

Two words Sump pump's, this alone should get Dyster thrown out of office. Like crumbs from Niagara Falls have money to install these items in their house.

sick & tired said...

Taking the undefined word of a venture company that failed to anticipate needs for electricity and connectivity while promising and not delivering on a revenue stream over anyone else' word in NF, including the over-meddlesome Sam Frucione, shows a decided lack of reason on your part Hobbes, and a quickness to condemn that has become your forte.

The parking meter company promised allot and delivered nothing but confusion for motorists in downtown NF. I drive down 3rd street everyday, and everyday I see folks standing at the meters, staring and trying to figure the darned things out. I myself do my best to avoid the meters when I stop at Satrbucks because they are just too confusing to operate. And I understand that these so-called "self-enforcing" meters have nabbed exactly zero parking violations.

Personally, I think the city ought to meter parking in the downtown area as it will help with the revenue stream. But more conventional meters, such as the automatic boxes that dispense paper slips with the expiration time to be displayed on the dashboard are the proven way to go. Less obtrusive than the meter at every space, proven technology that works in places as diverse as Buffalo, NF Canada, Toronto and even in many places in Europe I've traveled are the way to go.

Anonymous said...

S&T has this right. Wasn't this the wet dream of the previous administration? Seems to me that Dyster, et. al. inherited this mess from the Anello administration.

And, like S&T, I've tried using one of these and, while I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, it was simply too time-consuming to make it worthwhile so I drove away.

Seems to me that the company is simply looking for someone to blame for its own failings.

Fawn Leibowitz said...

S&T, I'm not disputing your take on this, but the ones to blame would be the Niagara Gasette. They are completely portraying this is the fault of the "current administration". If Dyster has his part of the story to tell, he'd best get on down to the newspaper and tell it because as of right now, he is wearing this as a failure of his administration.

Anonymous said...

Dyster should be run out of town on a rail. He has done nothing since taking over but blame everything on past mayors.

rob clark said...

Working in the falls I for one say, give Dyster a chance. Its going to take awhile to get anything accompished in NF. We all know that. Atleast he`s taking everything head on. Like with the pothole problem. It may only be a quick fix, but none of the previous mayors attempted to actually fix the problem. Fixing a 20yr old problem doesn`t happened over night

Hobbes said...

Update, courtesy of the Niagara Gazette: The Niagara Falls City Council and Photo Violation Technologies have agreed to continue operating nearly 100 parking meters downtown for at least another six months, bringing an end to a tumultuous week that saw both sides threaten to pull the plug on the pilot program.

Anonymous said...

Dyster should get out asap. He is nothing but a wind bag. As far as the pot holes being repaired, if that company from PA had not been in Buffalo Niagara Falls would be in the same position a city full of holes. The parking meters are totaly not going to work. Give the job back to the police department to enforce parking restrictions.

Anonymous said...

What can you expect from a Mayor who can't even put an administration together.

Anonymous said...

Yeh hobbes your right dyster sucks

Anonymous said...

Francine DelMonte, 46, of Niagara Falls, was charged with loitering at 8:18 a.m. Thursday. DelMonte was walking on 19th Street Thursday morning and offered a motorist oral sex in exchange for money, according to the driver, who alerted police. DelMonte also was taken in on a warrant for a previous loitering charge.