Common Council Items of Interest October 30, 2012

At the Council’s October 16th meeting, a resolution sponsored by President Pro Tempore and University District Council Member Bonnie E. Russell was adopted directing the City’s Departments of Permits & Inspections and Law to brief the Council on current procedures, regulations and timelines pertaining to food store licenses. The City continues to struggle with problem delis that negatively impact quality of life for City residents by selling loose cigarettes, diapers and other goods not packaged for individual sale; dealing in stolen, illegal and untaxed goods; violating health, tax, and labors laws; and providing safe havens for criminals and gang members that menace and intimidate neighboring residents. Despite the concerted efforts of the community, Council Members, law enforcement, City attorneys and inspections officials, some problem delis that were closed by the City were recently allowed to reopen by Judicial decree.  In adopting this resolution, the Council also requested that the Law Dept provide an opinion as to whether Administrative Adjudication proceedings involving problem delis are open to the public to observe and potentially provide testimony or other evidence. The Council would like to ensure the transparency of these hearings and make sure that all relevant evidence can be presented.  Finally, the Council committed to exploring the possibility of a task-force for reviewing laws, regulations and procedures related to food store licensing, inspections and enforcement; examining problems that hinder City departments in their application and enforcement of these requirements; and ensuring that the Law Department is equipped with the tools they need to keep problem stores closed. 
REINSTITUTE A DELI TASK FORCE –  In response to the resolution adopted at their last meeting regarding Clarification of the City’s Food Store Licensing, Closure & Appeals Process, the Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by President Pro Tempore and University District Council Member Bonnie E. Russell, that formally requested the reinstitution of a Deli Task Force. This new Deli Task Force will be charged with reviewing the various problems and issues involved in regulating delicatessens across the City of Buffalo and will be made up of representatives from a number of City departments. The Council previously organized a Deli Task Force in the mid 1990′s that was comprised primarily of representatives from Federal, State, County and local law enforcement agencies.  While at the time it was viewed as a tremendous success, the work of this original task force was discontinued as a result of various staffing, contractual and legal issues. In recognition of the fact that some of the issues faced by the original Deli Task Force remain in place today, the Council is committed to structuring the new Deli Task Force in a way that ensures its continuity and ability to develop permanent solutions to problems associated with Food Stores in the City of Buffalo. The Deli Task Force will examine the possibility of drafting more effective legislation to regulate food stores and clearer enforcement policies, as well as the creation of a standing Food-Store Licensing Review Board to oversee the various aspects of the food store licensing and enforcement process. 
LIQUOR LICENSES – The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by President Pro Tempore and University District Council Member Bonnie E. Russell, directing that all notices of liquor license applications and renewals received by the City Clerk be certified as to when they were received and immediately forwarded to the appropriate District Council Member. This resolution was filed to clear up confusion regarding the local notice requirement for liquor license applications and to ensure there is a process to ensure that Council Members have adequate time to forward their concerns to the New York State Liquor Authority (“SLA”) prior to granting or renewal of licenses by the State.  For most types of new liquor license applications, the SLA puts the burden on the applicant to provide notice to the local municipality of their intent to secure a liquor license.  This is done by submitting a standardized “30 Day Notice Form” to the municipality 30 days prior to the submission of an application to the SLA.  When the application is submitted to the SLA, proof must be provided that the applicant provided appropriate notice to the local municipality. The SLA does not typically require notice to local municipalities for renewal applications however, and the City is not typically notified of either when applications are submitted to the SLA or of when the SLA has scheduled hearings on applications.  These factors, as well as confusion over the notice requirement, have made it difficult in the past for Council Members and the community to properly forward their concerns to the SLA prior to hearings on applications being held. 
UNANIMOUS SUPPORT OF NATIONAL BREAST CANCER MONTH – The Council began their October 30th meeting with a program in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Juliana Janson, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s WNY affiliate, was present and introduced Averl Anderson, a volunteer speaker for the organization who gave a moving personal account of her experience as a breast-cancer survivor and the importance of early screening for the disease.  The program concluded with the Council Members, each of whom wore pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, providing certificates of appreciation and pink ribbons to Ms. Janson and Ms. Anderson as well certificates of support to City employees and others in attendance that had experience with this disease.  
Later in the meeting, the Council unanimously adopted a resolution jointly sponsored by all nine Council Members to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and recognize those that have struggled with this disease.  National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a program that is dedicated to increasing public knowledge about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Since National Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in 1985, mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older and breast cancer deaths have declined. According to the National Cancer Institute, over 220,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and approximately one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. While the 5¬-year survival rate for breast cancer is 98% when detected early (the localized stage), more than 30% of women continue to be diagnosed after breast cancer has spread. The Council encourages women to be proactive about their health by following an Early Detection Plan for Breast Cancer, performing routine breast self-exams, and scheduling clinical breast exams and mammograms as appropriate based upon their age and health history.  
RECOGNITION OF VETERANS EVENTS – The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen, to recognize the sacrifices of our nation’s Veterans and to raise awareness and support for the National Veterans Golden Age Games and Veterans Day Parade. The 27th National Veterans Golden Age Games is a National Adaptive Sporting event that attracts veterans and their families from across the country. The games are open to all veterans age 55 and older, and feature Olympic style events. Likewise, veterans will also be honored on the City of Buffalo Veterans Day Parade which will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2012. Pursuant to this resolution, all fees associated with these events will be waived.  
WAIVER OF FEES
The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Council President and Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana, requesting that the
City of Buffalo Office of Special Events and Department of Public Works waive any and fees associated with the 2012 Annual Lovejoy Halloween Parade. Waiving these fees will decrease the financial burden that volunteer community organizers incur in association with this event and ensure that this event remains free to the public. 
The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Niagara District Council Member David A. Rivera, directing that all Special Events permit fees associated with the “Fuel 99% – The Great Disconnect” event being held on Monday, November 19, 2012 at Main Street and Mohawk Place be waived for People United for Sustainable Housing (“PUSH”). 
SALE OF CITY OWNED PROPERTY–The Council approved transactions relating to the following City owned properties:
Ellicott District
o 128 Genesee Street was sold to Signature Development for $2,000. 
APPOINTMENTS
 
The Council approved the appointment of the following individual to the position of Heavy Equipment Operator within the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works:
 
o Sean Cooley 
The Council appointed the following individual as a Commissioner of Deeds within the City of Buffalo for the term ending December 31, 2012:
o Sharon L. Williams 
LICENSE AND PERMIT APPROVALS–Upon the recommendation of the Department of Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications:
Ellicott District
o Food Store License
Virginia Food Market Inc., located at 224 Virginia Street. 
o Lodging House License
The Tap Room at the Lafayette, located at 391 Washington Street. 
o Permit for a Freestanding Sign
D. Mika, agent of the property located at 1231 Delaware Avenue. 
Lovejoy District
o Second Hand Dealer License
I. Karanovic, owner of the property located at 1946 Clinton Street. 
Niagara District
o Food Store License
7-Eleven Inc., located at 171 Grant Street.
North District
o Permit to Erect Ground Sign
D. Mika, agent of the property located at 641 Hertel Avenue. 
o Food Store License
7-Eleven Inc., located at 256 Forest Avenue. 
7-Eleven Inc., located at 2070 Niagara Street (aka 2078 Niagara Street). 
LICENSE AND PERMIT DENIALS–Upon the recommendation of the Department of Police, the Council denied the following license and permit application:
Ellicott District
o Restricted Use Permit for a Tavern Event Allowing Entry of Patrons Under Age 21 Where Alcohol is Served in the Downtown Entertainment Review District 
Noir Ultra Lounge, located at 88 West Chippewa Street, for the Roboroc Halloween Party 
CLAIMS, CONTRACTS, CHANGE ORDERS & AGREEMENTS
Upon the request of the Mayor of the City of Buffalo, the Council:
o Approved the contract settlement agreement between the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Crossing Guard Association.  This agreement covers a five year contract term (July 1, 2021 – August 31, 2015), will ensure a Living Wage for these employees and includes health insurance concessions. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning (“OSP”), the Council:
o Approved a federal HOME funding agreement in the amount of $2,750,000 in HOME funds between the City of Buffalo and St. John Fruit Belt Community Development Corporation and its partners.  This agreement will allow for the construction of 49 new townhome rental units, with the HOME funds yielding or otherwise funding all or a portion of a total of 16 units. This project will redevelop areas of the Fruit Belt neighborhood and provide quality and affordable housing for low income household families. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Police (“BPD”), the Council:
o Authorized BPD to accept one vehicle seized for department use utilizing drug asset forfeiture funds to cover the administrative/seizure fees. The vehicle will be used in future undercover operations and will replace a current vehicle that has outlived its usefulness. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Fire, the Council:
o Approved a 10 year lease agreement between the City of Buffalo and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo to facilitate the City’s upgrade, placement, continued operation and maintenance of the City’s Public Safety Communications System. The rooftop of Mercy Hospital has long been an important part of the City’s communications system due to the hospital’s location and the building’s ideal height. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”), the Council approved the following contract change orders:
o The contract with Nichter Associates, Inc., for the Cazenovia Park Casino Interior Reconstruction Project, (lead image: historic photo of Caz Casino) was increased by $2,134 to furnish and install additional electrical outlets for the kitchen equipment and plywood and drywall for the kitchen area. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $34,500 and with this change the contract will increase to $36,634. 
o The contract with Frey Electric Construction Co., for the C
ity Court Basement Detention Center Project – Electrical Work, was increased by $38,891 for additional miscellaneous work necessary to complete the project. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $920,000 and with this and prior changes the contract will increase to $1,002,326. 
o The contract with Wilsandra Construction, for the City Court Basement Detention Center Project – General Construction, was increased by $26,710 for additional work necessary to complete the project. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $1,364,000 and with this and prior changes the contract will increase to $1,428,109. 
o The contract with Miller Enterprises, for the J. B. Wiley Sports Complex Renovations Project, was increased by $11,114 for additional miscellaneous work necessary to complete the project. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $312,000 and with this and prior changes the contract will increase to $340,694. 
o The contract with Miller Enterprises, for the LaSalle Park Concession Building Improvements Project, was increased by $4,400 for removal and replacement of brick on the outer wing walls necessary to complete the project. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $28,700 and with this change the contract will increase to $33,100. 
o The contract with GHD Consulting Engineers, LLC, for Supply of Water Meters for the Buffalo Water Board, was increased by $19,500 for services related to additional engineering required to prepare technical specifications for the procurement of meter setting and associated equipment. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $297,865 and with this change the contract will increase to $307,365. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”), the Council:
o Authorized the City of Buffalo to grant a Cultural and Recreational Easement to Erie County in order to facilitate the Buffalo Zoo’s use of $3 million in County assistance for construction of their Arctic Edge and Polar Bear Exhibits. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, the Council approved the following reports of bids:
o Of the bids that were received for the Argyle Park Stone Entry Gates Restoration Project, Highland Masonry was the lowest, with a bid of $14,250. 
o Of the bids that were received for the Broadway Garage New Restroom Addition Project, Miller Enterprises was the lowest, with a bid of $8,570. 
o Of the bids that were received for Emergency Repairs at the Ellicott & Goodrich Garage (“EGG”), Union Concrete and Construction Corp. was the lowest, with a bid of $29,850. 
Previous MEETING SUMMARY for OCTOBER 2, 2012
LOCAL LAW DRAFT REGARDING ANNUAL FOUR YEAR PLAN & FUND BALANCE POLICIES – The Council approved a local law, sponsored by Council President and Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana, amending Article 20 of the Charter of the City of Buffalo. As a result of this amendment, the Director of the Budget will be required to submit quarterly updated cash flow information as well as prepare and submit a four-year financial plan to the Common Council, which the Comptroller will be required to opine on the sufficiency of. This amendment was passed in order to assist the Common Council in its review of the Mayor’s budget. 
APPEAL COURT RULING TO RE-OPEN ILLEGAL DELIS – The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk and co-sponsored by all eight of his colleagues, directing the City of Buffalo Departments of Police and Permit & Inspection Services to provide a report on the progress they have made to bring deli stores into compliance with City laws and keep stores closed that have been shut-down due to a reoccurrence of crimes, violations and abuses. For many years, certain deli stores have caused problems by selling expired products and loose and untaxed cigarettes, operating in filthy conditions that attract rodents and vermin, selling drugs masqueraded as candy, allowing vagrants and criminals to congregate inside and outside their stores, violating building codes, and buying and selling stolen goods. While the City has closed many stores due to such problems, a number have been allowed to reopen pursuant to a New York State Supreme Court Order, including some that lack a license to operate. Since their reopening, crime in the vicinity of these stores has increased due to their direct and indirect negative influences on the community. For this reason, as part of this resolution, the Council additionally directed the City Law Department to provide them with a report on what, if any, appeal(s) they have made of these NYS Supreme Court decisions in an effort to enhance neighborhood safety by ensuring that the worst deli stores remain closed.
PREVENT CONCRETE CRUSHING – The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk, requesting that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) investigate the property at 1170 Seneca Street owned by Peter Battaglia Company, that the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) also be alerted to conditions at this site and be asked to respond, and that the City Law Dept. provide an opinion on the legality of crushing cement in an “M2″ designated zone. The Council is requesting this investigation to ascertain whether any environmental regulations or state laws have been violated in relation to concrete crushing at the facility and if concrete that is being crushed contains materials dangerous to human health. The City of Buffalo has expended significant time and resources in terms of litigation, employees and money to combat problems in the Seneca-Babcock community associated with the CTS rock crushing operation at this site. Area residents report being subjected to noise and clouds of dust, possibly interlaced with asbestos containing silica, that pose a serious health hazard. In addition, homeowners in the Peabody Street area have reported walls cracking in their homes due to the operation of large trucks and construction of a massive earthen berm on the Battaglia property. Operations at this site appear to violate recent New York State Supreme Court rulings prohibiting the crushing of material not natural to the earth as well as DEC regulations prohibiting crushing stone within 300 feet of a residential neighborhood 
PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING IN THE CITY OF BUFFALO – The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto and co-sponsored by Niagara District Council Member David A. Rivera, expressing the Council’s desire to learn more about Participatory Budgeting and how this concept has been implemented in other cities by hosting a Participatory Budgeting Project meeting. Elected officials and other participants who have successfully used this process in their districts will be invited to attend. Participatory Budgeting refers to a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. Over 3,000 cities throughout the world currently utilize this type of system to determine a portion of their budgets.  In 2009, Chicago became the first US city
to utilize this system and in 2012 New York City followed their lead. Elected officials, community organizations and academic institutions from around the world, including the United Nations and World Bank, have declared Participatory Budgeting to be a model for democratic governments. It is believed that utilizing this type of system, which provides communities with direct input in determining spending priorities, would enhance trust and understanding of local governments among residents by increasing accountability and efficiency. 
SUPPORT FOR AMHERST TOWN BOARD’S TOLL BARRIER RESOLUTION – The Council adopted a statement of support, sponsored by Council President and Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana, of the Amherst Town Board and their efforts to arrange a meeting between the New York State Thruway Authority’s Chairman and local communities at the “Buffalo Location” of the New York State Thruway Authority. 
WAIVER OF FEES
The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Council President and Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana, directing the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works to waive any and all fees associated with the usage of the Machnica Center’s community meeting room by Boy Scout Troop #128 during their 2012 – 2013 meeting season. Waiving these fees will assist Boy Scout Troop #128 in better serving the youth of the Lovejoy District. 
The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by South District Council Member Christopher P. Scanlon, directing that all fees associated with the use of a band shell by WNY United Against Drug & Alcohol Abuse, Inc. be waived for their Red Ribbon Week event to be held on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 in Cazenovia Park 
The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Majority Leader and Masten District Council Member Demone A. Smith, directing that the Park fee be waived for the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims memorial service held on September 25, 2012 in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. 
SALE OF CITY OWNED PROPERTY–The Council approved transactions relating to the following City owned properties:
Fillmore District
o 1086 Broadway (formerly Fronczak Library), was sold to Madina Accounting Services for $75,000. 
Niagara District
o 437 Rhode Island Street, was sold to Ms. Lauren M. Kostek for $1,600. 
APPOINTMENTS
 
The Council appointed the following individuals to positions within the Office of the City Clerk and various Common Council Office: 
o Delaware District Council Office
Stephanie Parobek (Legislative Assistant) 
o Council Staff Office
Felicia Stanley (Legislative Assistant) 
Rasheed Wyatt (Senior Legislative Assistant) 
o Office of the City Clerk
Damon Palmer (Assistant Legislative Aide) 
Tanika M. Hubbard (Intern IX) 
The Council approved the appointment of the following individual to the position of Plumbing Inspector within the City of Buffalo Department of Permit & Inspection Services: 
 
o Keith Ogden 
The Council appointed the following individuals as Commissioner of Deeds in the City of Buffalo for the term ending December 31, 2012:
o Denise D. Johnson
o Damon L. Palmer 
LICENSE AND PERMIT APPROVALS–Upon the recommendation of the Department of Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications:
Delaware District
o Restaurant Dance License
McGarrets, located at 936 Elmwood Avenue. 
Ellicott District
o Used Car Dealer License
Unlimited Business, located at 77 Sycamore Street. 
Fillmore District
o Food Store License
Harbor Deli, located at 366 Perry Street. 
Lovejoy District
o Second Hand Dealer License
Net’s Place, located at 2259 Genesee Street. 
Citywide
o Collector License
Cascades Recovery US Inc., located in Rochester, New York. 
CLAIMS, CONTRACTS, CHANGE ORDERS & AGREEMENTS
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning (“OSP”), the Council:
o Authorized the Mayor and OSP to execute a contract with the New York State Department of State to use $44,440 in grant funding for the Republic Park Preliminary Design Project. Republic Park, located along South Park Avenue within the RiverBend site, will be a key public amenity around which private development will be centered. 
o Authorized a revised Payment in Lieu of Taxes (“PILOT”) agreement between the City of Buffalo, the County of Erie, DePaul Properties, Inc. and Riverside SN Housing Development Fund Company, Inc. for the redevelopment of former Buffalo Public School 60 located at 238 Ontario Street. This project will result in the rehabilitation of the building into a 68 unit housing complex. All of the units in the housing complex will be affordable for households at or below 50 percent of the area median income. 
o Authorized OSP to submit a grant application to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for $67,000 to support the “Reusing Buffalo’s Building Stock, Economic Development through Historic Preservati
on” Study
. This study is intended to further the economic development and reuse of existing building stock within the City and provide a greater understanding of the specific resources, opportunities, and liabilities in downtown Buffalo and along the Historic Belt Line rail corridor. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”), the Council approved the following contract change orders:
o The contract with Miller Enterprises, for the Asarese Matters Community Center Gym Floor Reconstruction Project, was increased by $4,044 to remove and dispose of existing bleachers and to reconstruct roof flashing joints. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $64,000 and with this change the contract will increase to $68,044. 
o The contract with Erdman-Anthony Associates, for Main Street Reconstruction Project, was increased by $64,141 to enable final close-out of the project. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $7,447,000 and with this change the contract will increase to $7,561,141. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”), the Council:
o Authorized DPW enter into an agreement with Sunnking, Inc. for electronic waste collection and recycling services. No payments will be made to the vendor as the agreement involves the City of Buffalo getting financial rebates for all electronic waste generated and collected in the City. 
o Authorized DPW to launch a mobile application that will allow the public to view City news updates, weather, traffic camera images and time-delayed snow plow locations on their mobile devices, making Buffalo the first US City to implement this type of service for residents.  There are no costs to the City for the development and launch of this application. 
o Authorized DPW to renew, modify, and extend the lease agreement between the City of Buffalo and Northwest Buffalo Community Center, Inc. for use of 155 Lawn Avenue. The Northwest Buffalo Community Center is a not-for-profit organization that offers and facilitates a multitude of human service programs including social, health related and education activities. The extended lease will commence as of October 1, 2012 and run through September 30, 2017 with a five year renewal option available thereafter. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, the Council approved the following reports of bids:
o Of the bids that were received for the LaSalle Park Concession Building Improvements Project, Miller Enterprises was the lowest, with a bid of $28,700. 
o Of the bids that were received for the Replacement of Masten District Sidewalks Project, P & J Construction Co., Inc. was the lowest, with a bid of $383,179. 
o Of the bids that were received for the Resurfacing of Darrow Alley Project, Thomann Asphalt Paving Corporation was the lowest, with a bid of $10,520. 
o Of the emergency bids that were received for the Fire Engine 35 Apparatus Bay Floor Stabilization Project, Allgaier Construction was the lowest, with a bid of $16,500. 
For any questions, concerns, or further information regarding the above, please contact your District Council Member, the Common Council Legislative Staff Office, or the respective City Department.


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To view the final Common Council Meeting agenda and/or supporting communications, please visit the City of Buffalo website at


BUFFALO COMMON COUNCIL

David A. Franczyk
Fillmore District
1315 City Hall
851-4138

David A. Rivera
President Pro Tempore
Niagara District
1504 City Hall
851-5125

Richard A. Fontana
Majority Leader
Lovejoy District
1414 City Hall
851-5151

Michael J. LoCurto
Delaware District
1405 City Hall
851-5155

Darius G. Pridgen
Ellicott District
1408 City Hall
851-4980

Demone A. Smith
Masten District
1316-A City Hall
851-5145

Joseph Golombek, Jr.
North District
1502 City Hall
851-5116

Christopher P. Scanlon
South District
1401 City Hall
851-5169

Bonnie E. Russell
University District
1508 City Hall
851-5165

Common Council Legislative Staff Office
1413 City Hall
851-5105

James N. Jackson
Legislative Assistant
City of Buffalo Common Council
1413 City Hall
Buffalo, NY 14202

About the author  ⁄ buffalorising

11 comments
whatever
whatever

Yes, usually Common Council elections are essentially uncontested.

It would be good if NY state election law didn't make the ballot petition process so deliberately complex for everyone other than party-endorsed candidates. But on the other hand, as grad notes, not many people even try. Those who do usually end up failing very badly to even compete.

The one long term incumbent council member (Franczyk) who seemed like he'd face a strong challenger last year was able to get courts to remove his opponent's name from the ballot.

All nine of their positions are safe again until 2015. Pretty much all they have to do is just not get convicted of felonies over the next three years and they'll very likely have easy re-election again until 2019 if they want. Or to wait for a higher office seat to open, run for that, a replacement gets appointed, and everything continues.

It would be good to change the Council to part-time, have its meetings in evenings, reduce terms to 2-years, limit to 8 years per person, and make it much easier to get non-endorsed candidate names on the primary ballots. Even better, non-partisan general elections.

Probably none of that will happen, so as the saying goes - it is what it is.

grad94
grad94

hey, all you crankypants upthread: if you think government is that easy and you can do a better job than "these idiots," why aren't -you- running for office?

elmdog
elmdog

I appreciate your opinions and do realize that we are a "rust Belt" city and I also know what comes with that....I was a Urban planning major for 2 weeks,(so I am an authority).....I was only going on a rant and enjoying it and dont need you to bring me down....Part of the problem is the cities inability to have an identity or that it has an identity crisis...No one seems to know what we are or what we can be in terms of city, size, industry, etc.....I could throw darts at a board blindfolded and have picked better ideas and or outcomes for this city and the past 40 years.....

I am just mumbling non sense my self now....

300miles
300miles

They're already summarizing a long boring meeting to save us all from complaining that we can't go to the meetings ourselves during work hours. I'd rather see the full writeup than have someone else filter it for me.

No_Illusions
No_Illusions

Have you ever heard of something called the rust belt?

Buffalo is hardly the only city that experienced decline for the past 60 years.

Detroit, Cleveland, Syracuse, Columbus, Flint, etc

All of these cities have experience the trauma cause by the combination of a globalized economy shipping manufacturing overseas, atomization making manufacturing jobs redundant, and the flight of the middle and upper classes from cities to the suburbs.

It is likely the decline would have taken place with or without the politicians we elect into office. After all if one thing almost every American city has in common is the same type of politicians being voted into office.

The only city that might have changed its fortune was Pittsburgh, but I would hardly call it a booming city; but rather they were able stabilize the city.

So my question for you is: How does Buffalo become competitive in the global economy? How do we mitigate the effects of atomization on society? How do we attract people back into the city?

Until those questions can be answered(and I do believe there has been great progress recently to address these issues), then Buffalo cannot thrive.

However, politicians are only a small piece in a very large puzzle of what makes a city successful.

Also, remember cities ofter grow and decline due to things outside of anyone's control. Buffalo is only so large in the first place because of its location on Lake Erie and as the terminus of the Erie Canal after all.

Lukia Costello
Lukia Costello

Cheezus. Could you consider writing a summary of key points and just linking to this kind of monstrosity. This is not useful content. Come on now.

elmdog
elmdog

Its one of those days where a rant feels good....I am tired of the politics, the political process, the bullshit that these people throw at you and want you to believe just so they can get you to go towards their favor...Political non sense is childish and ridiculous at the same time...

I cant wait for the elections to be over, and all thats said wont be backed up any way....'

Locally these idiots seem to be getting more annoying annually..At least back in the day politicians were tough bullshitters, today we have a bunch of weasels who just want to hear themselves talk all day long....

I cant believe that cities grow all over this country and have been for 60 years while Buffalo is stagnant...I know there are a multitude of factors but one could definitely be all of the red tape and non sense government officials running around pretending like they know what there doing...

joey d
joey d

Blame the brain dead voters who keep voting in the same ol' same ol' career politicians, too much special interest groups voting in what their candidate will do for them, rather than looking at the whole picture. ANY visionary prospective candidate knows that this is a tuff town... and only the connected campaign donors get what they need and want. So goes life in the anal city of the great lakes!!

elmdog
elmdog

U know what they should do...Schedule a meeting, to have this meetings...You need more meetings of the minds in this city...It has worked out beautifully in the past 40 years....Why do people like to talk and get no where? Is it just to hear each others voices? Let have a meeting to talk about non sense......This city is about the talkers not the movers and doers.....Same ole same ole.....Pathetic

It takes 3 years to get a fountain put in at Hoyt Lake? Where else is this like this?

Chris
Chris

I'm sorry I couldn't get past Deli taskforce...

What exactly do they do? I assume it is related to crime prevention?

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