Governor David Paterson visited Niagara Falls this week to provide us with the opportunity of a lifetime: to ask questions directly to the Governor of the State of New York. Unfortunately, too many in the audience responded by acting like belligerent little children.
The worst of the bunch was Ric Marasco, a politician himself. Did he want to know why the Governor’s budget includes an increase in welfare benefits? No. Did he want to know why he swept $750 million dollars from the NY Power Authority? No. Did he want to know why the Governor is directing the lion’s share of federal stimulus money to state fiscal relief? No. What was the input Marasco wanted to provide to the Governor during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? He chastised the Governor for “buying” a $200 toaster.
There is very little Governor Paterson has done right, but he is still the Governor of this state and what I saw was an embarrassment to our community. The Governor failed to realize that the crowd packed into that community center on Wednesday had no respect for him or his position. It is possible to disagree on an issue and ask a difficult question without being obnoxious. Obviously some people are incapable of this.
Governor Paterson reached out this community to hear our concerns and was badgered, berated and demeaned. After the way Paterson was treated by the people of Niagara Falls, what do you think his mindset is coming out of the meeting? Do you think he's heading back to Albany saying, "Gee whiz, I really wanna help those great people of Niagara Falls"? No, morons, he's heading back to Albany saying, "I've never been so disrespected at a meeting in my file. Screw them, they won't sh*t from me".
Back to Marasco. After his rush to the microphone, despite being out of order, he failed to ask the Governor what he is doing about our largest source of county property taxes, which is our school taxes. He also failed to ask the Governor how he is planning on addressing the looming pension crisis and massive legacy costs of public employees.
The rub? Marasco is a school teacher. Members of a public sector union like Marasco, whose sole mission is to secure compensation packages for its members that drive up our property taxes, are disgustingly hypocritical when they blame others for their property taxes.
I can't even imagine what Mayor Paul Dyster was thinking. He must have been so humiliated by what was going on in his city. One thing is for sure, though. Securing aid from the state to fix the pot holes in the city just got a whole lot tougher. Good job, folks.