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Wrecking Buffalo: Bethlehem Steel, Going Going Gone? | Buffalo Rising

Wrecking Buffalo: Bethlehem Steel, Going Going Gone?

Based on recent activity witnessed around the old Bethlehem Steel North building on Route 5 in Lackawanna it looks as if the structure is likely to be demolished within the next few days. New fencing has gone up and heavy equipment has been moved in. This is a major piece of Western New York history – American history actually.  It is going to be thoughtlessly destroyed. Much of Buffalo and WNY was built from activity conducted within this building.  The United States won the war in Europe and Japan in no small part due to what was done inside this building.  It is important historically and it is important for its architectural craft and beauty but it will be destroyed because of small thinking. 

The mayor of the City of Lackawanna, Geoffrey Szymanski, has been quoted by the Buffalo News saying that demolition is progress.  Perhaps he gets this belief from the “progress” exhibited along the city’s main thoroughfare, Ridge Road.  That once bustling street of shops and institutions is now a bland, gap-toothed poster child for the mayor’s form of progress. The Lackawanna progress that the mayor promotes leads to basically nothing of any worth from what I can see.  The recently cleared St. Barbara’s Church site is now an extravaganza of progress in the form of an empty grassy lot.  The corner across the street from the magnificent Our Lady of Victory Basilica once held a busy commercial building that was removed for the progressive use of surface parking. What is a great landmark building without surrounding it with asphalt, right? Progress Lackawanna style will now add more nothingness to this once mighty industrial city.  In the warped logic of today’s throw-away America nothing = progress.
Get down there to the building while you can so you can see what Lackawanna had before progress came along. Document it for future generations as thoroughly as you can. 
Want to help save what is left of Buffalo and Western New York?  You can start by letting Mayor Szymanski know what you think of his form of progress. You can also connect with like minded people on the Preservation Ready Sites FaceBook and join Preservation Buffalo Niagara or The Campaign for Greater Buffalo http://greaterbuffalo.blogs.com  There is no gain to WNY in allowing delinquent owners and shortsighted small minded municipalities to continue stealing our unique and irreplaceable heritage. Tear down for real progress and I am with you but let’s not pretend that anything of substance is coming to the glorious Lackawanna waterfront once the Bethlehem Steel office building is taken to the garbage dump. 
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About the author  ⁄ david steele

64 comments
sonyactivision
sonyactivision

Quick STEEL, go to court and file for an injunction!

...oh wait

whatever
whatever

js, here's another example (11 of them actually)… from Marist University...

http://www.academic.marist.edu/~jzry/harvest.htm

' ...In 1994, when Gov. Mario Cuomo was fighting for his political life, Republicans smelled a plot by state Democrats who failed to challenge 11 incumbent GOP state senators. It's the "let sleeping dogs lie" theory. They say the Democrats wanted to depress turnout in Republican strongholds by not opposing GOP senators, so the incumbents didn't energize their supporters. ...'

Here's a more general q -

If it can be an effective tactic as you're presuming it can, then why would you suppose only one of the two major parties regularly does it when feasible?

Wouldn't that be a very naive thing to suppose?

js>"Was there a willing Democratic challenger to John Mills that the Democrats explicitly discouraged from running …?

But you didn't raise that q about Rs in Buffalo/city? That can be asked of Buffalo mayor in 2009 when the Rs didn't endorse anyone and no city resident R decided to run in the primary as they could've even without party org backing.

Who was any willing competent R challenger to Brown then?

(keep in mind this guy apparently wasn't even a Buffalo resident, and I'll leave the competence question for him as a thought experiment, lol)

As I said back up here:

"Was part of the D's motivation to discourage turnout in those rural towns where Chris Collins might do well that year in what was expected to be a close race vs Poloncarz?

Maybe.... and/or maybe they couldn't find a sacrificial lamb candidate to run against Mills, and/or maybe they didn't want to waste campaign resources in a race they felt sure to lose - or any combination of those reasons.

All the same as for R's in Buffalo when the strong incumbent shoe is on the other foot. ..."

I'm treating both parties equally.

Are you saying Rs are guilty until proven innocent regarding motivations, while it's the other way around for Ds?

JSmith
JSmith

I don't know the details of that particular race. However, I would suspect that the impact of Republicans in that sparsely populated rural district staying home on election day is significantly less than of Democrats doing so in the most densely populated area of our metropolitan region.

Was there a willing Democratic challenger to John Mills that the Democrats explicitly discouraged from running because they wanted to discourage Republican turnout in that district? There is a difference between simply not having a candidate to field and making a calculated decision not to endorse or assist anyone in running as part of an overall political strategy.

whatever
whatever

js - yes, depress and suppress have very different definitions. Regardless, both do it and people have only themselves to blame if they stay home and don't vote simply because one candidate who they like doesn't have any opponent.

And as I mentioned, D-party orgs have done the exact same thing when convenient to them of leaving ballot lines without endorsed candidates in places where their voter enrollment is far outweighed by that of R's.

My previous comment gave you a quick 2011 example you didn't acknowledge - them not endorsing a D candidate vs John Mills in the very-heavily-Republican rural district, same year as Collins-Poloncarz countywide race was on the ballot.

As I said, that wasn't suppression either. People in that district who wanted Mills to win but didn't feel need to show up and vote since he had no D opponent still were free to show up to vote in other races such as for Collins. If any stayed home, that's their choice or their fault. They weren't victims of the D party doing anything to them.

But if knowing that human nature was part of why D's didn't endorse anyone who'd surely lose to popular Mills in the most heavily R part of Erie County, well… it's the same thing as when it's vice versa in the city.

If either is "depression", then both are. Neither was suppression.

JSmith
JSmith

I wrote "been accused of", not "found to have done so".

LouisTully
LouisTully

I understand their reason for not running a candidate. But how pathetic. How about solving problems, embracing the challenge, and giving voters a reason to give you their vote. Adam Zyglis should draw a cartoon of an elephant frightened by a mouse emblazoned with the City of Buffalo.

JohnMarko
JohnMarko

Sorry - but ONLY REPUBLICANS have been found "rigging elections,misdirecting voters in certain districts, telling them the polling place is closed, etc."

Not once - I repeat - NOT ONCE - have ANY Democrats been found to do such things!!!

Stop with the "everyone does it" bulls--t"!!!

JSmith
JSmith

I would agree with you in large part except that the local Republicans have explicitly embraced the strategy of not running candidates in the city as a calculated attempt to "depress" (is that better than "suppress"?) voter turnout in the city that could negatively impact the county races that they do run candidates in.

No, it's not as bad as a corrupt government rigging the election, or even as bad as some of the things the Republicans and Democrats have been accused of in recent national elections (misdirecting voters in certain districts, telling them the polling place is closed, etc.), but it remains a deeply cynical strategy that has fostered bizarre transactional political relationships between local Democrats and Republicans.

Jondeer
Jondeer

This is clearly a forum for pissing and moaning about things you can't change. I'm glad the people with the power don't take you very seriously.

r-k-tekt
r-k-tekt

OMG...The Walmart on Sheridan Drive is hideous...dry vit, fake gables...no improvement over what was there previously...just 30 years newer

whatever
whatever

Yes, and I don't see how that's inconsistent with what I'd written.

To stick with the same developer example you did, Rocco has some amount of projects he's willing to do. Maybe it's partly to do with money, or maybe partly to do how widely he wants to spread his attention, or maybe how he perceives tenant demand, and/or other reasons. But he has some finite amount of demand, factoring together many things.

There's far more old buildings in Buffalo that are available for him to develop in theory than he does in practice.

He said yes for Lafayette and some others, but he didn't for any of the buildings my comment mentioned - NB church, Bethlehem, cigar store, freight house. He also declined on the Greystone when Paladino was willing to sell it to him (according to a BR article).

Again - supply vs demand.

whatever
whatever

By the way…

Here's how the CS Monitor defined suppression recently

"… And normally, the words voter suppression refer to efforts by the politically powerful to make it harder for people – especially people who might oppose the politically powerful at the polls – to cast ballots."

(the CSM wrote that arguing against Karl Rove, when Rove was also saying crap by misusing the S-word against the Obama campaign)

Page 2 of this study from Dartmouth elaborates more on the defintion:

"Acts of voter suppression can be classified into four categories of behavior: direct threats or intimidation, disinformation or scare tactics, disruption of an opponent’s lines of communication, and challenging someone’s right to vote."

Leaving ballot lines blank doesn't fit into any of those 4 categories.

I agree with what you said about the Greens - they seem more principled than the WFP's and C's… and usually more than the D's and R's.

I disagree with many of their issue stands, but respect their integrity.

whatever
whatever

js - even if McCarthy doesn't lean left, that doesn't mean he's immune from misusing words or writing crap. People of any political views can do those things.

Regarding "take it up with him", I thought you should be honored that I'm holding you to a higher standard than I hold him to. He really isn't a good writer.

Anyhow, suppression's meaning is very different from and far more sinister than leaving a ballot line blank as sometime happens for the D line in some heavily R electorates and vice versa for the R line in some D electorates.

In 2011 were D's "suppressing" voters in heavily R towns of Springville and Eden when they left incumbent county legislator Mills unopposed?

http://www.springvillejournal.com/news/408-Get_out_and_vote_during_election_day.html

"Under the new 11th District, voters will have one option, but for many in the district, a new name, John Mills. The veteran lawmaker, who spent 22 years as an Orchard Park Town councilman before serving the last six as a county legislator, is running unopposed. A large portion of the newly formed district includes many of Dixon’s former communities, including the towns of Boston, Evans and Eden. ..."

No, of course the D's weren't 'suppressing' anything or anyone.

(and I doubt McCarthy call it that then... just sayin)

Anybody who wanted to vote could still vote. Nobody was suppressed.

Was part of the D's motivation to discourage turnout in those rural towns where Chris Collins might do well that year in what was expected to be a close race vs Poloncarz?

Maybe.... and/or maybe they couldn't find a sacrificial lamb candidate to run against Mills, and/or maybe they didn't want to waste campaign resources in a race they felt sure to lose - or any combination of those reasons.

All the same as for R's in Buffalo when the strong incumbent shoe is on the other foot

Regardless, it might be hard ball politics but none of that is at all the same as suppressing.

Look, if someone like me can vote every year in this city, county, and state even when almost always the ballot has only lefty candidates of either main party I don't like - then anybody can.

If any city resident chooses to not show up and vote in a contested county comptroller's race just because Brown doesn't have a mayoral opponent, then that's their personal decision alone - nobody else is suppressing them or their votes.

LouisTully
LouisTully

"was ignored by the code enforcement people is probably a huge reason it is still around"

That's a very good point I haven't heard or thought of. Kind of like those properties that are "destroyed" through the years by silly renovations et al. but are really being kept alive; and kept away from the wrecking ball.

pampiniform
pampiniform

There are possible unintended consequences with that approach though. The fact that this place was ignored by the code enforcement people is probably a huge reason it is still around. Had the owners been pressed to keep the building up to code, they might just as well have torn it down a long time ago. It's not like they bought the building straight out instead of as part of such larger purchase. The fact it sat as long as it did would seem to indicate they never had a use for the place.

I'm not arguing that building owners should be let off the hook for not keeping their buildings up to what would be a reasonable approximation of the specifications stipulated by the building code. But taking an inflexible hard line on an issue like that might wind up resulting in more buildings being torn down or being defaulted to the city.

Jimbuffalo
Jimbuffalo

"How about we have owners who invest in their buildings and municipalities who enforce building codes."

I agree with this.

Waiting for the economy to be just right, low on cash, too many irons in the fire ...whatever...at minimum the property owner shoud be accountable for securing the building, making the sure the roof and drains operate - basic maintenance - while he/she hopes for better days.

Isn't this where code enforcement enters the picture?

While it appears to this reader that not every great old building can be saved or effectively repurposed, speculators, absentee landlords, etc. need to be held to a minimum standard. Still too costly? Then tough luck on you...you should have thought things through beforehand.

Too often, too easily it seems that local government lets these property owners off the hook when it comes to maintaining their structures to even the most basic, minimum standard.

I am not a bigger government solution type, but come on. If you own the property, man-up and mothball it correctly. If you can't afford to do that, then don't speculate on some magical, profitable economic demand coming your way

STEEL
STEEL

How about we have owners who invest in their buildings and municipalities who enforce building codes. That never seems to register with you tear it all down guys does it? You think it is ok to let building rot and then blame the problem on the people who point out the stupidity of removing everything that makes a place interesting. By the way. It's not about people coming to look at a beautiful building. It is about making and keeping a beautiful place in which to live and work. Not everyone is so enamoured with weeds and parking lots like you are.

Dashwood
Dashwood

It is extremely frustrating that there are so many people who are promoting spending lots of money tearing things down without any thought or plan as what to replace it with. Bethlehem Steel is a currently a vast wasteland that is being used for almost nothing and is not currently being developed. There was a 10 year plan a few years ago to clean it up and develop it, but at this point it seems like that was more of a pipe dream. So what is the point of tearing things down except to create lucrative contracts for contractors who have donated heavily to politicians.

Wouldn't it be more wise to try to preserve what we have until such time as there is a proposed use for the land or structure? The key to that would probably be enact legislation that would actually punish neglectful landowners before they have a chance to let a property sit for dozens of years.

JSmith
JSmith

I'm not sure its "crap". It seems like a pretty widely acknowledged strategy. Robert McCarthy's article about a potential Republican mayoral bid talks quite freely in those terms. Take it up with him; he's no biased liberal, for sure.

http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130109/CITYANDREGION/130109301

The Working Families and Conservative Parties seem to be solely fusion parties that don't run their own candidates but merely cross-endorse major party candidates in hopes of winning some support for their issues (and like you said, patronage). The Greens, on the other hand, do run their own candidates.

Sal D
Sal D

If this place was so important to you all, why did no one step up and try to preserve the places before it got as bad as it did? Its only important NOW that someone is actually trying to clean up the area and get rid of the garbage lurking around Buffalo?

You all need to drop the facade and admit the places is trash. Yeah, thats great it has history, it also doesn't have a roof, walls, hardly any foundation.... If we restore it, what maybe 100 people a year are going to come to Buffalo to look at it? Yeah, that's worth 50 million of tax payer money. Lets spend MORE city and county money preserving a building 99.9% of the population knew nothing about or care about when we need business, a redefined water front, actual buildings that generate revenue.

Tear it down.

Quixote
Quixote

I think the price of the [One screen name please]

building has been reduced to $1.00.

correct me if I am wrong but can it be purchased by anybody?

Count me in for the first $.25.

Who's with me?

STEEL
STEEL

The Hamburg Walmart is a ridiculous cartoon and cannot in anyway be described as urban.

STEEL
STEEL

Your statement does not make any sense. If people did what you want there would be none. Sheas would be a parking lot - for that matter the entire Theater District downtown would be parking.

Jondeer
Jondeer

Ya its better to have 3-4 good ones then a not 1 because you people cry wolf all the time on every old building in buffalo

Old First Ward
Old First Ward

To each municipality to force Walmart to conform to their needs. Hamburg pressed for a more urban design and leveraged a better facade after rejecting the initial renderings.

Look at that run down space they replaced there. What about the new store on Niagara Falls Blvd. They replaced a wreck of a plaza there. Now Cheektowaga is working to refine the plans for the store to replace that dump of a flea market. Now lets see if Buffalo can produce something more appealing in North Buffalo on Hertel and Elmwood.

If the design is bad, blame the town planning board. They approve it and have the authority to force changes. Again, I don't applaud those stores but they serve a purpose, and they are in the suburbs for the most part.

whatever
whatever

I agree with most of that except the "suppressing" crap, but also...

Any city resident is free to register as a Republican voter (don't need party org's approval), then submit valid petitions to run for mayor on the R line in the primary, then if that person is the only candidate in an R primary (if the org is "suppressing" which is a B.S. use of the word "suppressing"), then that person would automatically win and be on the ballot in the general.

You could even do it, JS, if you want.

If you don't, I'll say you're suppressing the vote, lol

(just kidding, but it's somewhat the same thing)

So it isn't as though any party org can choose to keep any line on the ballot empty.

That said, I don't blame anyone who doesn't want to bother on the R line in Buffalo, or on any line other than D.

Just like I wouldn't blame D candidates who don't run in R-dominated places (which also isn't the D's in those places "suppressing" the vote there.)

In Buffalo, I'd bet the Green or Working Families Party lines would probably have a better chance of winning than R.

Same for those - any city resident who wants to run on those could register as a voter in either, submit petitions, and be on the line even if the party orgs don't nominate any candidate. Last time around, the Working Families Party cross-endorsed Brown, so a WFP primary would've been needed if anyone else wanted to run on that one. Conservatives endorsed Brown too - awesome that the WFP and C's found something they can agree on - they both love patronage!

Also - the Common Council elections were 2 years ago for 4 year terms unfortunately, won't be elections for those until Fall of 2015, unless any special elections if any resigns.

STEEL
STEEL

Are you kidding? Their buildings are hideous and have almost no landscaping - as if parking lot "green space" is wroth anything anyway. Besides that more and more often we find Walmart abandoning one big box for another one up the street. Of course there is that architectural wonder in Hamburg that gives you that colonial village feel.

Old First Ward
Old First Ward

Say what you will about Walmart. One thing I see is that Walmart tears down ugly strip plazas and old boxy suburban stores and fills them with clean buildings and generous landscaping.

I'm not advocating their employment strategies or damage to the small businesses, but they do clean out decrepit real estate that nobody cares to develop.

whatever
whatever

long, I question the 'has to be' in this part -

"The voting block has to be there first. Not the other way around."

If Kearns or any candidate has serious realistic ideas (not vague platitudes or pie in sky) for what city govt could do differently on this issue, he/she should put those forth along with other issues.

I don't know how many voters count as a 'block', but even if only a few percent in the city those can help as part of building up to a majority.

A downside in proposing anything too strong could be in alienating voters like me who'd oppose extremism - like for crazy examples, if a candidate proposed giving all buildings in the city landmark protection by default, or to budget millions in city $ for old privately owned buildings thus having to cut budgets for other services or raise taxes, etc.

By the way -

how about people we've already elected to City office who aren't in Brown's political faction?

Where's any serious efforts for preservation-related law changes from LoCurto and his allies (Franczyk, etc) on the Common Council?

It isn't as though they're passing legislative reforms and Brown is vetoing them.

I don't think Brown has vetoed much of anything at all in his 7 years as mayor so far - and no vetos preservation-related that I can think of at the moment.

Unclear what you mean by 'why not go political' near end of your comment?

Did you mean BR should post more about city politics? If people submit things to them, maybe they'd publish - I've no idea. I'd suppose it's difficult to get people to write articles. They published the Weekes For Mayor article and Common Council minutes, so it isn't like they're always averse to the topic.

JSmith
JSmith

"The voting block has to be there first. Not the other way around."

That may be true, but... electoral pressure is just about the only real way to keep politicians accountable and responsive to the citizenry. Someone needs to run against Brown in the primary, and for heaven's sake in the general election. If the Republicans won't do it because of their odious vote suppression strategy then I hope the Green Party will run a candidate for mayor, just to provide people with some alternative.

And the same goes for all the councilmembers. Even the "good" ones (who that might be will vary according to your own opinions) ought to face an actual election to keep them accountable.

Jondeer
Jondeer

My plan is to wreck them all, I'm just trying to give you a few pointers. But hey if you were good at this I wouldn't have much to wreck.

longgone
longgone

I don't think Kearns came out and said it.

That said, if there was a voting block of 10,000 votes that could be had by Kearns is he made preservation one of his top agenda items..you could bet the farm he would have made it one of his top agenda items.

The voting block has to be there first. Not the other way around.

Going back to BRO, if posts about stores are up for sale...and posters like Steel are given an open podium to share their views...why not go political? I doubt it would turn away readers.

JSmith
JSmith

Well, often when you turn an old building into a "new" building (via renovations) it generates the demand that wasn't previously there when the building was decrepit.

For example, Mike A's steakhouse would never have opened in the Hotel Lafayette before Termini restored the building. But that doesn't mean the Lafayette was surplus to requirements and should have been demolished.

STEEL
STEEL

Yes it will be such a great city with 2 or 3 saved buildings surrounded by Walmarts,empty fields, and Rite Aids. I think you just might have a plan there. As to trying to save everything, on what basis do you make that claim?

derek
derek

i think a better question is: what are you attempting to accomplish with such a comment? "we people" see a value in our city and surroundings, a waterfront that is in desperate need of development; this particular building's history involves the entire country and world. we are an architectural rich area, just because we have so many historically contributing properties does not mean we can easily let one go to the landfill.

Old First Ward
Old First Ward

To beat Brown you need a competent name candidate. Or an egregious Brown mistake in an election year. Lots of money would help too. Or as a last resort, hope that Cuomo offers him a position in Albany that he can't refuse.

This candidate would need to be able to appeal to the North Buffalo crowd and South Buffalo Crowd. The East Side voters need to be convinced that a potential candidate cares about them and their community. Not in just words but with actual plans. The West Side is a bunch of confused electors. So much diversity over there it is tough to appeal to everyone. But this is where the preservation people and most of best architecture resides,(including Allentown and downtown).

Either way the Republicans need to put up a candidate to force Brown to spend some of that million dollar war chest. You can't just let him continually build a war chest and not make him spend anything.

Everyone worries about the police,firefighters and teacher unions but most of their members probably live outside the city anyways so they can't vote. However the union always gets press and word of mouth coverage for their endorsement. Brown can be defeated with the right candidate.

Jondeer
Jondeer

What exactly do you people TRY to accomplish. Y'all don't pick your battles you TRY and save every piece of junk around here. Maybe if you focused all of your "power " on one or two buildings people may take you more seriously

Jondeer
Jondeer

What exactly do you people TRY to accomplish. Y'all don't pick your battles you TRY and save every piece of junk around here. Maybe if you focused all of your "power " on one or two buildings people may take you more seriously

whatever
whatever

grad - it isn't a matter of pretending, but if the persons or groups don't publicly reveal an offer (including any dependence on others for funding, or any strings attached), then how can it be considered as a possibility by members of the public?

The 'pretending' can happen in either direction.

Just because someone may have 'approached' Gateway doesn't necessarily mean they made a firm, standing proposal.

Maybe they did, maybe they didn't.

Or if the people to whom you're referring were rejected out of hand by Gateway, that also should be made a matter of public record to give Gateway a fair chance to confirm or deny the accusation (if that accusation is being used as part of the argument over what the govt should do for this).

For the North Buff church, a group including Frizlen had discussions including a walkthrough, so apparently the Methodist owners were willing to let them walk through which hints at their open mindedness to selling, but then in the end Frizlen decided _not_ to acquire it according to the recent BR post.

derek
derek

are we ever going to learn from our mistakes? this is a prime opportunity for waterfront development and interest in that area. think of how larkin district is exploding now, even without frank lloyd wright's office building. we could attract people from around the world with an architectural gem such as that building, and yet here we go again, tearing down another!

16thStreet
16thStreet

This is a multifaceted issue, but start with the same thing that keeps me from doing 90 on the 90: Money. Most people drive at or around the limit not because it's safer, but know that speeding leads to tickets and lawyers, which are expensive.

Present it like this: Would you rather see a building get knocked down using tax payer money in exchange for a parcel that should and could create tax revenue, sit dormant?

OR, reinvest in old buildings so they can be rehabbed and put back ON the tax roll?

Make property owners responsible for their buildings condition. I'm not saying every property has to look like a work or art, but fine them for not maintaining their properties (roofs, windows....). If they can’t get their properties up to snuff in “X” amount of time, take the property away and allow someone who can get it done to come in and fix it up. (the city can take your house away if you fail to pay $3 in taxes, why not for costing the city money to take it down?)

Another facet is get emotion involved. Show before and after shots of beautiful places like Shea’s, Lafayette, electric tower, mansions gone through rough times, and so on. Show people how the street, or how the city would look without those beautiful places.

These are just a few of my ideas, I’m sure more creative people can add more. But if we can show the public that preservation is good for everyone, and have a candidate that understands these issue, we can get behind him/her.

grad94
grad94

one of the "i'm steel standing" people knows of several private investors who approached gateway and were turned away. so let's stop pretending that no one wants it and therefore demolition in unavoidable.

whatever
whatever

Umm, isn't the freight house next?

It seems to be the same issue with most of these - Bethlehem, NB church, freight house, cigar store - lack of any serious private sector interest over long periods of time.

Supply of old buildings vs demand for old buildings. The demand isn't zero of course, but evidently it's just smaller than supply.

The PB houses are a different matter, but even for the Wilkeson House (assuming it can't be moved at this point) is any private person, business, or or group seriously offering to take over it's ownership and willing to mothball or operate it as something where it stands?

That would be okay with me if anyone took it over like that, but if nobody is publicly stepping forward offering to do that, then it's also okay with me if it's demoed.

whatever
whatever

long, I think you make a good point for the most part.

I've made a similar point about Peace Bridge issues (voters keep electing officials in landslides who favor continued nonlocal trucking over the PB, and plaza expansion, etc), and also about Common Council for preservation issues, etc. Even though I disagree with most of you guys about some of the old buildings or about the PB, it always seems very strange how there's very little if any attempts at election time efforts on your sides of these topics.

However - I paid pretty close attention to the last mayoral election and I don't recall Kearns offering any substantive policy proposals related to saving more old buildings.

So it may have been moot last time.

To answer your q, I favored Brown over Kearns even though I don't think Brown has been good. I thought Kearns sounded even worse, not very substantive or competent at all. I can't vote in primaries…. don't recall if Kearns was even on any minor line for the general, but if he was I'd have voted for Brown as a lesser bad of two bad choices.

longgone
longgone

In 2009, Brown beat Kearns by a margin of 24,595 to 14,319.

What would it take for people in Buffalo to get 11,000 votes from people concerned with preservation?

16thStreet
16thStreet

I couldn't agree more! A million thumbs up.

I did not vote for Brown, he's a schmuck and up for reelection this year. I really hope someone runs against him that loves this city as much as many on here do.

longgone
longgone

Honest question to some folks. I know this is not going to exactly relate as it's Lackawanna but how many folks who are upset at what's going on here voted for Brown? Did anyone vote for Kearns? In Lackawanna, Szymanski had no concerns with McCusker the last time around either.

The reason I am asking is rather simple. There is no negative to these elected leaders for not listening. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Heck, who voted for Mark Poloncarz? The CE is the only position that actually is a race. Also to note, Poloncarz hired the wife of Szymanski for a job that was never made public. These two know each other.

My point is the preservation community has ZERO political power from my perspective. We hear all of the time how people hate the horrible new builds in the city. The reason those are built is they are backed by power brokers.

The preservation community needs to gain power at the ballot box. Really, nothing else is going to stop this stuff.

Jaxson
Jaxson

The smoke-shop store, that church in N bflo, now this. I assume the peace bridge houses will be next.

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