NIAGARA FALLS, NY - There are some big political changes in parts of Western New York after Election Night and one of those communities, getting a makeover is Niagara Falls.
So often when 2 On Your Side has been reporting on Niagara Falls issues, they stem back to the dysfunction with city council. The biggest example of this was the Hamister Hotel project earlier this year, which was approved, after months of bickering.
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster thinks the addition of one new council member, Andrew Touma, will be a good thing for the city.
Touma will be the new face on council in the new term. As a teacher, Touma was the leading vote getter with 4,208 votes Tuesday night.
He replaces Sam Fruscione who lost on the independent and conservative lines. In the past, the mayor says that council chair Glenn Choolokian and members Robert Anderson and Fruscione slowed projects down.
Dyster expects Touma will join council members Kristen Grandinetti and Charles Walker to help the city progress.
"To be able to have a free ranging policy discussion about the many issues that stand in front of us, it's going to be very refreshing and it's going to be an opportunity to accelerate the progress that we've made in the last few years," Dyster said.
The mayor also says that one thing he and council members will work on immediately is a roadmap for the first 100 days of the new term.
Some of the key issues facing Niagara Falls are boosting tourism and taking care of roads; and also, figuring out what to do with tens of millions of dollars worth of casino revenue in the deal with the Seneca Nation of Indians.
The new terms for council members Touma, Grandinetti and Walker begin on New Year's Day.