New year brings new mayor, new hope in Niagara Falls

Jan 2, 2020

A new year means a new beginning for the City of Niagara Falls. That is what community leaders are hoping for in 2020.

Despite tourist attractions like Niagara Falls and the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, years of questionable management and allegations of corruption continue to be a detriment to the city.

Incoming City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino.
Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

Coming into the new year, longtime mayor Paul Dyster did not seek re-election. Taking over for him is former city judge Robert Restaino, also a Democrat. Restaino has pledged to improve city services and the quality of life for city residents.

Community leaders say quality of life improvements begin with the city’s underserved residents. At a holiday gift giveaway last week at the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Center, Niagara Falls Housing Authority Executive Director Cliff Scott said the collection of local and state leaders at the event showed to residents they will be part of the city’s comeback.

“It’s a partnership. It’s giving back to the community,” he said. “It’s the Governor’s Office coming to our agency and this facility, and this community, this neighborhood and saying, ‘Hey, we want to be partners, and this isn’t a forgotten neighborhood and community.’”

Scott said his experience working for other housing authorities across the country should lend credence to his vision for the city.

“The incoming administration,” he said. “Hopefully is going to be receptive to some innovative plans, proposals and ideas that we have as it relates to blight elimination and the community development department."

Partnership, from the governor’s office down to local municipalities, is how Scott sees the City of Niagara Falls moving forward in 2020.