Parks open for business

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    When Archie Katzman banged a gavel on the wooden table promptly at 10 a.m., it signalled to about 40 spectators the start of a new era for the Niagara Parks Commission.

    The open era.

    For the first time in its 124- year history, members of the public were allowed to watch commissioners in action. It was standing room only in a committee room at Oak Hall, prompting Katzman, the acting chairman who has been on the commission since 1971, to comment on how many people were interested enough to attend the first meeting.

    “We did not expect to see this many people,” said Katzman, who has filled in as chairman since Jim Williams resigned in December.

    Commissioners are “encouraged” by the interest in the goings-on at the commission, which is responsible for preserving, promoting and enhancing the area around Horseshoe Falls and the land along the Niagara River, he added.

    To accommodate the crowd, the meeting was moved from the boardroom at the Portage Road office to a larger committee room. Staff put out wooden folding chairs -the kind that are comfortable for about an hour – as a visitors gallery.

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