While there are those who will criticize Niagara Times for presenting what they believe to be a "right leaning" position on issues, we have no problem calling out Republicans when the situation calls for it.
Regardless of who we take to task, we'll always do everything within our power to substantiate our position with tangible support. Case in point, this Recovery Tracker analysis by ProPublica. This examination quantifies the amount of stimulus money given to each county in the country. For our purposes, we'll focus on Niagara.
According to the study, the distribution of county funds nationwide is $181 per capita. In the state of New York distribution of county funds, the average is $177 per capita. For Niagara County, it is a measly $113 per capita.
The numbers don't lie.
While there may be a perception that the decision of how to distribute the stimulus monies is being made in Washington, the reality is that those decisions are being made by Albany Democrats.
So the question begs: Where the hell are Francine DelMonte and Antoine Thompson? They are the two members of the State Assembly and State Senate who are in the majority within their respective conferences, and are the two "representatives" of Niagara County who are in the best position to effect the distribution decision. And once again, they have failed us. The two of them let NYPA screw us with their unquestioned support of the sweep of $550 million from programs that would have supported economic development projects in our community, and they screwed us with their support of a budget that raises taxes and fees on the people of this community by millions of dollars.
What's also extremely disconcerting is the fact that, upon further delving into the report, most of the dollars allocated to Niagara County go school aid and creating out-year obligations that the state and our school districts cannot afford - nothing in this allocation goes to creating jobs.
So are Thompson and DelMonte so unwilling to stand up for us to their political bosses from New York City, or are they simply so impotent in the hard core world of Albany politics that our county continuously gets the short end of the stick? I guess the answer is quite possibly both. For the 220,000 residents of our county, that's a sad, sad answer.