Allegations of paying people $50 to attend Niagara Falls council meeting tonight

A council meeting, not a circus.

That's the word from Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati after a social media movement cropped up last night offering to pay people $50 to sit through a Niagara Falls council meeting and take up seating space. 

At issue is a vote on the controversial Riverfront development formerly known as the Thundering Waters project.

Diodati says he is aware of the situation and he has investigated by calling the developer, GR Canada.

Diodati says GR Canada was shocked by the allegation and they believe a third party is at play.

He calls it a distraction, disappointing and uncalled for.

He says while it's not illegal to pay someone to attend a meeting it's defiantly improper.

He says provisions will be made tonight to ensure that everyone who wants to see or hear the meeting will do so, and everyone who wants to speak for or against the development will get a chance.

Councillor Carolynn Ioannoni says supporters of the development with ties to a local business is behind the offer to pay people to attend the meeting.

She says this taints the process and she wants an investigation.

Ioannoni is hoping that council will turn down tonight's application on the development saying she hasn't heard from one Niagara Falls resident who supports it calling the plan a city within a city.

The recommendation is to approve the development as a community plan saying it should be dealt with as a secondary plan first.

The councillor says even the Ministry of Natural Resources is against the plan as it stands now.

Ioannoni says the plan is too big, a disaster for the city environmentally and it's time to put the brakes on.

She says it's time to stop looking at the money signs and start looking at doing what it right.

For more on opposition to the development, including claims made by the Haudenosaunee click here.