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Maziarz, Ceretto unveil 'Empower Niagara' petition drive

by jmaloni
Wed, Aug 10th 2011 01:35 pm

Call on Cuomo to appoint Niagara County resident to NYPA board

Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, and State Sen. George Maziarz, R-C-I-Newfane, today announced their joint "Empower Niagara" petition drive. The petitions, which call for a Niagara County resident to be appointed to the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees, will be hand delivered by Ceretto and Maziarz to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"For too long, the Niagara Power Project has been a piggy bank for Albany, contributing a sizable chunk to NYPA's $2.56 billion in annual revenues, but offering little to Niagara County residents thanks to Albany control," Ceretto said. "This petition is an opportunity for our Western New York community to say 'enough is enough,' and tell Albany that revenues generated in Niagara County should be used to help Niagara County residents instead of being wasted by bureaucrats hundreds of miles away."

Said Maziarz, "Our residents have known for a long time that the Power Authority needs to pay more attention to the Niagara region. The collective voice of our residents and businesses can be an important tool for bringing change to government. This petition drive is a way to complement our ongoing efforts at the state level to make our concerns about representation known. We will use every means to fight for a better result for Niagara County."

According to the politicians, the recent revelation that NYPA is considering plans for a 30 percent rate hike on "preferred customers" makes it that much more important for Niagara County to have representation on the board.

"The 'Empower Niagara' petition allows the citizens of Niagara County to participate in ensuring NYPA and the governor know the importance of these issues in the region, and the determination of Niagara County residents in obtaining representation," Ceretto said.

In May, Ceretto and Maziarz met with Cuomo's appointment secretary, Judge Leslie Leach, to discuss filling a current vacancy on the NYPA board with a Niagara County resident.

At the meeting, held in the governor's Capitol office, Ceretto and Maziarz asserted that a local board member would be an asset to the region and would help to ensure that the power produced at the largest electricity-producing plant in the state is used to lower local power costs, create jobs and provide relief to families now paying some of the highest energy rates in the nation.

Those interested in passing the petitions, or learning more about the "Empower Niagara" petition, can contact Ceretto's office at 716-282-6062 or Maziarz's office at 716-434-0680.

Download a copy of the petition

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