For a community that has too often let opportunity pass it by, I have to say how excited I am that we were able to get our collective act together and adopt a comprehensive plan for the Niagara River Greenway. I truly believe we have taken the first step to creating something very special and unique along the Niagara River.
While many people deserve credit for making this happen, I think the true unsung hero in this endeavor is Louis Ciminelli. When he was chairman of the New York Power Authority, Ciminelli was a driving force in making greenway funding part of the relicensing of the Niagara Power Project.
His staunch advocacy for Western New York during that process often put him at odds with many of former Gov. George Pataki's top staff, who viewed the Niagara project as a cash cow to fund projects downstate.
This conflict eventually led to Ciminelli's resignation from the Power Authority, but not before he had made sure greenway funding would flow for the next 50 years. The fact that Ciminelli is now a greenway commissioner should help make sure this funding is not wasted, but instead is spent turning this grand vision into a reality.