March 4, 2010

NYPA's Curley Doesn't Get It

Critics of the Niagara County Legislature's repeated calls for a resident of Niagara County to be named to the New York Power Authority's Board of Trustees have conveniently used the excuse that there are currently two Western New Yorkers on the board representing the interests of our community, and that another appointee from WNY would simply redundant. Yes, Elise Cusack from Eggertsville and D. Patrick Curley from Orchard Park serve on the board, but exactly whose interests they represent remains cloudy.

Throughout the repeated injustices that have been bestowed upon our community at the hands of NYPA, Curley and Cusack have sat idly by without uttering so much as a peep. Rates have been raised, requests for power have been disregarded, economic development initiatives have been ignored and half a billion dollars in NYPA revenues, primarily generated right here at the Niagara Power Project, were swept right out of Western New York to help fill that great, big black hole that is the Albany budget. Still, not a word out of Curley and Cusack. If that's representation, I'll stand alone.

This week, however, Curley finally found the inner fortitude to make public comments about the role of NYPA in the community. Did he finally come to the realization that the time is right to actually step up to the plate and address the multiple inequities in the disbursements of NYPA resources? Nope, he whined like a little girl about the continued efforts of the Niagara County Legislature to fight for what is rightfully ours.

As this Buffalo News piece details, Niagara County officials are pursuing a billion-dollar Great Lakes wind power project. If it does happen, it will likely be developed on Lake Erie or Lake Ontario. That detail has yet to be determined by the Power Authority. Curley, on the other hand, has prematurely made his own determination as to which county which will be NYPA's choice for the project.

The News article goes on to mention "an incident at a Power Authority event Wednesday in Buffalo, where D. Patrick Curley, an authority trustee from Orchard Park, said he was “looking forward to the offshore initiative in Lake Erie.”

Because of Curley's comments, the Niagara County Legislature passed a resolution at Tuesday's meeting calling for a fair bidding process. Members of the Leg were expressing their concern that NYPA had already made its choice, and that Curley had simply let the cat out of the bag early.

When Curley heard that the Niagara County Legislature had passed the resolution at Tuesday's meeting calling for a fair bidding process, his response was, "I don’t know why this Legislature has it in for the Power Authority". I'm sorry what? Pat, we've never met, but I have a question for you: Are you a complete freakin' moron? Never mind, it's a rhetorical question.

Niagara County has been short-changed, ripped off, taken advantage of and pretty much screwed at every turn by NYPA, and you don't know why we have it in for the Power Authority? Actually I think I will answer the question - you are a complete freakin' moron. You are Western New York's representative to the New York Power Authority. The Niagara Power Project is the sole reason that NYPA is able to exist in the form it does. We don't get what we are rightfully entitled to and we're fighting for it. Where's the confusion?

Curley obviously doesn't get the frustration with NYPA that is so prominent in Niagara County and across our region. So, in hoping to help him see the light, we're going to encourage as many people as we can to contact Curley to help him understand exactly what the role of a Board Trustee should be. He can be reached at (716) 662-3231. Have a nice day.

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