It seems that Lockport Alderman Andrew Chapman, who we wrote about as recently as last Thursday, is going to be providing the pages of Niagara Times with plenty to blog. The Fourth Ward representative, who has been in office all of three weeks, is creating a huge controversy in the community because he is concerned with the image of the Molson Concert Canal Concert Series promoter.
As we touched on last week, Chapman is a religious zealot who objects to the city renewing its contract with the promoter of the series because of her involvement with other business interests that he does not condone because of his religious beliefs. Of course, Chapman has no problem contracting his personal security business with casinos and all of the sins that accompany those establishments. He insists on raking the reputation of the promoter through the mud in his personal crusade to push the concert series out of Lockport.
Apparently, Chapman has a very short memory. As this story from the August 28, 2008 Union Sun & Journal reports, Chapman donated a video surveillance system to the promoter for use at the concert series. Now, the US&J piece doesn't say that Chapman's company, IK Systems, donated the equipment to the series - it says the he did. Not that this a significant point, because one way or another he financially benefited from the donation to the promoter. Whether it was through him personally or through the company, a tax deduction for the donation was taken.
And yes, the promoter today is the same as in '08.
So once again, we are seeing a massive contradiction from Chapman. Like doing business with the casinos, it seems that Chapman's morality radar is non-existent when it comes to his personal financial gain.
His response will be easy to predict; he will claim that he didn't know about these issues when he made the donation to the promoter in 2008. What he's really saying is that there is no need to do his due diligence in his private life because money in his pocket is all that matters. It's an astounding level of hypocrisy that Chapman has reached in his three short weeks in office.
We can only hope that he takes a step back from his crusade of running the concert series out of town. The series has brought hundreds of thousands of people to the city, people that spend money in our shops, restaurants, retail establishments and hotels. One concert last year, Our Lady Peace, brought 25,000 people to the city - most of whom had never stepped foot in the city, but given a positive experience, will likely be back.
Most importantly, Chapman needs to understand that he was elected by the people of the Fourth Ward elected him to represent them, not God, and I'm going to go out on a limb and pontificate that most people of the ward want the series to continue unimpeded. Unfortunately, Chapman has chosen to use his position as a bully pulpit to advance his personal religious beliefs. It's a blatant misuse of the public's trust and it must cease.