Nutrition Site Closings a Ruse
For so long, we have seen the Republican Party cater to the desires of the religious right. Holy extremists press the Republicans into championing their extreme religious beliefs. While I am not a devoutly religious person, I do firmly believe in many of the morals and religious laws that are passed on. I honor my mother and father, I do not kill, cheat or steal. I respect my elders and my neighbors.
So why is the Republican led Niagara County Government cutting vital services to our City’s elderly? Office for the Aging Director, and Republican Alderman from Lockport, Kenneth Genewick, unilaterally decided to cut three Senior Citizen Nutrition Sites for Niagara Falls residents. What most people do not realize, is that without these nutrition sites, many senior citizens will not have any means to eat. This is literally the last line of sustenance for many of our elders.
So it was in bad taste that Genewick mailed letters to city residents that utilize the important nutritional services at these locations informing them that the Sites will be closed effective August 31, 2012. The sites to be closed are located at St. Johns AME (located in the North End of Niagara Falls), Tuscarora Nation House (located on the Tuscarora Reservation) and Summit View Place Apartments (located on Williams Road in Niagara Falls).
The interesting part is that this will only save the County $40,000.00. Now we encourage good government and cutting wasteful spending. Yet Genewick cut these programs voluntarily. There was no resolution that was passed in the open Legislature. There was no emergency budget session requiring the departments to cut spending to eliminate a budget deficit. Why would a Republican department head want to cut 3 nutrition sites for Niagara Falls senior citizens?
Our hypothesis may seem outrageous, but it is plausible and highly likely. Here goes: this was done intentionally to create an easy issue for Senator Maziarz and Assemblyman Ceretto to champion.
Let’s look at the facts: a Republican Alderman, who was appointed to as department head in the Office of the Aging, cuts the nutrition sites by sending letters directly to the affected seniors and creating a huge public outcry. The Republican led Legislature was not involved in the decision, so they can skate through this controversy unscathed, and thereby will not suffer any political fallout. And most convincing, all three of these nutritional sites, which are scattered throughout the County, are within Queen George Maziarz’s new district.
Democratic Legislators from Niagara Falls, Dennis Virtuoso, Owen Steed and Jason Zona proposed a resolution on July 31, 2012 calling upon the Legislature to order these sites to remain open for the entire year. Specifically, their resolution states that the funds to operate these nutrition sites have already been budgeted for the entire year, so they should remain open. Naturally, the Republican majority would not permit this resolution be brought to a vote. Rather, they voted to send this resolution to committee where it will be deliberated further. However, the very earliest this resolution can be brought to a vote in the Legislature will be in the first week of September. Yet, these nutrition sites are slated to close on August 31st.
How could Senator Maziarz and Assemblyman Ceretto condone the cutting of vital services for a large group of voting Senior Citizens? Simply put, they won’t. Queen George will prance in like a knight in shining armor to save the day. Can’t you see the campaign rhetoric now? Mailers and television commercials with senior citizens thanking him for saving their nutrition programs!
Little do they know, that it is “Queen” George Maziarz himself that orchestrated the scare that these three senior nutrition sites will be closed. And he is creating this scare only to publicly correct the problem and seize more votes in a City that looks upon him very suspiciously. We only wish that a man so cleverly devious would spend his time to actually improve our area instead of increasing his own power and influence.