Tonawanda News — Barry Snyder, president of the Seneca Nation of Indians, joked about exchanges between he and Cuomo outlined in the press as the rhetoric ramped up in recent weeks.
Snyder, who called Cuomo a “bully” last week, said the governor should take that barb as a compliment.
Snyder described the deal as “equitable” and said that the state and the nation can now move forward as partners.
“While this is not a problem Governor Cuomo created, he acknowledged a very serious situation and has worked with the nation to solve the problem,” Snyder said.
Snyder said a lack of communication between the Senecas and the state led to the breakdown in relations between the two entities.
“Hopefully in the future we will sit down more regularly on issues we have, not only on the gaming compact, but on other issues we might have that we might rectify or at least be heard in the state office buildings up in Albany,” Snyder said.
Mayor Paul Dyster, who has maintained for months that the dispute would be resolved by the middle of this year, was beaming at the press conference.
Dyster, who has faced a series of challenges related to the halt in payments, said the negotiated settlement was a great relief for himself, but also for the residents of the Falls.
“This is one of the happiest days of my life and, I’m sure, for the city of Niagara Falls,” the mayor said.
Dyster said the city tried to remain neutral in the dispute and maintain relations with both the Senecas and state, who he described as “friends” of the city.
“It hurts us to see our friends fighting,” Dyster said. “So we tried to play whatever role we could to facilitate a negotiated settlement.”
State Senator George Maziarz, R-Newfane, traveled back from Albany with Cuomo for the press event.