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'Personal agendas' won't be tolerated

The very first thing that will happen on Jan. 1 will be to meet with the City Council.

This will be immediately following the swearing-in ceremony, and will be a follow-through to my promise to the voters of Niagara Falls that I will respect and communicate with the Council members they have elected to represent them.

Actually, I will begin promoting the changes needed to strengthen the efficiency of the Niagara Falls city government before the 100 days begins. I will create a transitional team with representatives from local businesses, government and colleges, with a focus on the city's financial, real estate, education, business and tourism development.

I will freeze all noncontractual spending and discuss with not only this team, but our City Council, the best ideas to move the city forward. As mayor, I have a plan and the experience to move forward, but I am also aware that there is a treasure house of information and experience within our borders. One of the first issues that will be addressed will be the policy currently being used to calculate our residential and commercial assessments.

The implementation of the firefighters contract will be acted upon immediately with a direct communication with the Seneca president, Maurice John, to discuss a fire hall in the vicinity of the casino.

The 10-year contract which I will be proposing will not only allow our Fire Department the respect and monies they deserve, but it will save the taxpayers over $1 million in the first five years. It also allots $25,000 for preventative maintenance for the fire halls and takes a level of politics out of the negotiation so a new government doesn't mean a new contract.

The safety of our streets is such a vital part of neighborhood regeneration that meeting with the police force will be of [utmost] importance in the first 10 days. With the information that I gathered while sitting on the City Council and during my campaign, I have accumulated knowledge and experience to save the city close to $1 million working within the parameters of the police budget. Like the firemen, we will give them the respect and monies they deserve. This savings will allow us the flexibility to increase our force and create the security a border city such as ours deserves and needs.

One of the greatest concerns of our residents right now is the honesty and ethics of some of the heads of our city departments. Within the first month of taking office, there will be performance evaluations with a focus on productivity, budgetary performance and service to the taxpayers. This administration will be user-friendly and will not tolerate "personal agendas."

Within the first month, invitations will be extended to the civic organizations, as well as businesses and other progressive organizations. This may seem like a lot of inviting and conversing, but within the dynamics of change there must be a breaking of the old mentality and a stepping into a progressive, positive communication and cooperation.

The bottom line of fixing the infrastructure of the city comes with open, honest dialogue.

In the course of the first hundred days, there will be an aggressive campaign to actively work with the Water Authority and the Streets and Public Works Department to address the real issues of rebuilding the infrastructure of the streets and not just a "fill in the potholes campaign." With the creation of new interactive Web site, residents will be able to report needed street and sidewalks repairs, and in return we will post the schedules and the progress reports.

Yes, there will be an honest embracing of the Greenway. But the Greenway does not put food on your plates or give you the security needed to enjoy your neighborhoods and neighborhood businesses. I am a mayor that will take Niagara Falls into the future, but as a business owner and taxpayer in the city, I must stop the hemorrhaging right here and now! The future must come with a firm foundation of unity and decisive leadership.

We will reach out to county, state and federal representatives and agencies and introduce them to our new government! I will assure them, that the Thomason administration will demonstrate honest, open government, with the ethical business practices needed to inspire growth and prosperity, with no ties to past administrations.

This is only a portion of what we aspire to accomplish in the first 100 days. Our comprehensive plan has six-month, one-year and four-year goals which we will implement after this initial phase.

It is very exciting to be able to invite the residents of Niagara Falls to join me in the celebration of the creation of progress and prosperity for our great city.

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