You can tell that the political campaign season has started in Niagara Falls when candidates and potential candidates begin courting the news media.
The City Council this week unanimously tapped the Niagara Gazette as its official newspaper, but also unanimously adopted a resolution "recognizing the Niagara Falls Reporter as the weekly newspaper of the City Council."
The Gazette will continue to be used "for printing and/or publishing of all legal notices, public hearing notices and any other matters required by law or by the boards of the city."
That means the city will continue to pay the Gazette to post those notices.
The other vote was more a good-will gesture to a paper known to skewer politicians, Gazette reporters and others.
The Niagara Falls Reporter, a weekly newspaper whose motto is "to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable," is distributed free of charge at many businesses throughout the city.
The resolution recognizing the Reporter was sponsored by Council Chairman Sam Fruscione, who is considering a run against Mayor Paul A. Dyster -- a frequent target of the weekly -- in this year's election, and by Councilman Robert Anderson Jr., whose term expires at the end of this year.
As originally drafted, the resolution was to "designate" the Reporter as the Council's weekly newspaper to "publish information the City Council wishes the public to be informed about as well as any other matters the City Council wishes to be printed and/or published."
The word "designate" was changed to "recognize" after Corporation Counsel Craig H. Johnson pointed out that the resolution "merely recognizes the newspaper. It does not become the official newspaper for legal notices or other required publications."
The measure also recognizes "the 10 continuous years of publication of the Niagara Falls Reporter."
The Buffalo News marks 131 years of continuous publication this year -- not that we're
feeling left out, or anything...