Perhaps all those years ignoring her non-Niagara Falls constituents have confused poor Francine DelMonte. That’s the kindest explanation we can offer, here at Niagara Times, for her increasing confusion about what’s in her district, and, more importantly, what isn’t.
Regular readers of this blog already know that Francine, in her zeal to claim credit for something—anything!—positive that happens in this region, singlehandedly almost scuttled the very promising Yahoo! deal that Town of Lockport and county officials have been negotiating quietly for months. It irked us to no end that Francine not only desperately wanted credit for a deal that she had nothing to do with, but more importantly, an economic development project that wasn’t even in her district.
We hoped that this was just a bizarre aberration, maybe the result of stress from watching her new-found power evaporate during the State Senate coup.
Unfortunately, it was just the tip of the iceberg.
This weekend, DelMonte again wandered out of her district and tried to take credit for events in Lockport AGAIN, this time showing up at Spring Lake Winery. Now, if Francine were just showing up to buy a few bottles of Spring Lake’s excellent cabernet sauvignon, it would be understandable. Instead, though, she was at the successful vineyard to put on a big show, complete with pronouncements of her support for Niagara County’s wine industry—and she did this despite the fact that there are several wineries IN her district! (For those unaccustomed to the rules of the political world, politicians holding official events in other politicians’ districts is considered quite gauche and a strict political no-no. No wonder Francine is rumored to have few friends even on her own side of the aisle in the state Legislature.)
Even that wouldn’t be so damn peculiar, if it weren’t for the fact that on Sunday, a significant event actually did occur inside Francine's district, and she totally ignored it! Up in Newfane, Budwey’s opened up a 20,000 square-foot store that will employ close to 100 people. Francine, who allegedly represents Newfane, was nowhere to be seen. She didn’t even send a staffer, or even a congratulatory note to be read aloud. (Granted, we’re willing to chalk much of this up to the fact that Francine had absolutely nothing to do with this, either, unlike Sen. George Maziarz, Newfane Supervisor Tim Horanburg, and County Legislature Economic Development Chairman Rick Updegrove, who were all given a hero’s welcome by Frank Budwey himself.)
We’d suggest that if Francine wants to try to horn in on the credit for economic development successes in Niagara County, maybe her staff could help her out by letting her know just what towns are part of her district. But we also realize that the county is a lot bigger than Pine Avenue, so maybe she gets a little confused sometimes.
So in that spirit, Niagara Times offers the following handy map for Francine. Her staff can go ahead and print it out, and refer to it whenever Francine is confused about what’s in her district, and what isn’t. Think of it as ol’ Hobbes doing his civic duty to help a wayward and geographically-challenged politician: