After attending Mayor Brown’s State of the City address, Republican candidate for Mayor, Sergio Rodriguez has issued his response below.
“The Mayor of Buffalo has failed to address the issues that matter most to residents living in the city. After hearing his address we are left wondering what his plans are to address the issues that are on the minds of most of the Buffalonians I have talked to.
I was listening for solutions to the major issues facing our city such as poverty, education, unemployment, crime, and the way these issues are driving population loss. But these issues went virtually untouched in the mayor’s speech.
Let’s take poverty. Buffalo is the nation’s third poorest large city. Along with that, is unemployment. The current rate is the highest it’s been since the ’80’s. You can’t separate poverty and unemployment. Shouldn’t there be a program to address them?
And education: the graduation rate in Buffalo Public Schools is hovering around 50%. Wouldn’t you expect that to be raised in any discussion of the “state of the city?
Then there’s crime. For the first time in Buffalo’s history we are ranked in top 10 ‘most dangerous city in the nation” by Forbes. There has been a 70% increase in shootings in the past year. So why didn’t the mayor address that?
It seems that when it comes to the key issues that are holding our city and its citizens back, our mayor is complacent.
But what is the mayor doing? Rather than offering creative solutions to our problems, Mayor Brown is creating additional problems. He is dipping into our reserves to cover up serious shortfalls. These fiscally irresponsible and unsustainable policies have been challenged by the City Comptroller. A key example of this is evident in the City having to return half a million dollars in HUD funds designated to help Buffalo’s neediest residents due to misappropriation and mismanagement of these crucial resources. The inability to address these issues is unacceptable.
It’s no wonder that 71% of Buffalo Business First readers said ‘NO’ to the current administration and do not think Byron Brown deserves another four-year term as Mayor of Buffalo.
Fighting crime, unemployment, reforming our schools, making City Hall work, and creating a culture for business and innovation will be my top priorities. This is our challenge and all my efforts and policies are going to be dedicated to this.”