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School Board Candidates Night

Artvoice street correspondent Peter Reese sends us this dispatch from last night’s Buffalo School Board Candidates Night at the Polish Cadets Hall:

The Forest District Civic Association (FDCA) held a Buffalo School Board Candidates Night on Tuesday, at the Polish Cadets Hall at Grant and Amherst. Candidates for the North and West District seats were invited. In attendance were School Board President Ralph Hernandez (West), Larry Scott (North), and Dr. Patricia Devis (North). Candidates Philip Lomax (West) and Jason McCarthy (North) were noticeably absent. Attorney and campaign manager Ed Betz attempted to represent McCarthy, but, in what may have been the highlight of the evening, was asked to remove himself by what was essentially the unanimous wishes of all assembled.

The president of the FDCA, Larry Patti, served as the moderator with Mike Desmond of WNED Radio and Sam Radford of the Parents Council serving as the panel of questioners. During the course of the evening, numerous audience questions were also asked by Patti and FDCA secretary Jim Lee.

Questions ranged from increasing parent involvement, fiscal concerns, and school board election voter turnouts to innovative new teaching methods, rating the performance of Superintendent James A. Williams, and the personal qualifications of the candidates. I wanted to know the identity of the entity Education Reform Now Advocacy (ERNA), which has been spending piles of money mailing flyers supporting candidates McCarthy and Lomax, as well as Vivian Evans and Kinzer Pointer. None of the candidates present had any idea what or who ERNA is or how they were funding and otherwise supporting the campaigns of their opponents. Devis reminded the assembly of the huge expenditures made in last year’s race by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and at-large school board member Christopher Jacobs. She noted that the funding behind ERNA “smells like the same money to me.”

If you paid attention, you came away with the impression that all three candidates present were thoughtful, qualified, and sincerely motivated. It was also unmistakable that the absent ERNA duo, McCarthy and Lomax, didn’t care enough about the Buffalo schools to show up. Maybe they’re counting on their big money media campaigns to carry them to anonymous victory. In any event, their absence left a million questions unanswered and a bad taste in the mouths of the attendees.


  • Jonathan Wellinton-Fidrych III

    This Reese fellow is a well known left wing trouble maker. It would be wise to ignore anything he says and his feeble attempts to smear our City’s finest citizens who are selflessly extending themselves in the selfless cause of public service. The interests of the children always come first.

  • Ellen Reese

    I may be prejudiced because I sleep with him, but I think Peter was very accurate in his write-up. I was there and his report was on the money!

  • Jonathan Wellinton-Fidrych III

    Ellen Reese is a well known Bolshevic Jew from New York who has made a career of harassing our City’s finest philanthropists and community concerned shakers and movers.

  • N’outasynch

    Jonathan Wellinton-Fidrych III is an unknown cabbage grinder who wears his pants too high, causing split brain callousing. His typing ability ranks amongst his highest accomplishments.

  • Terrie Frantz

    I am amazed that any educated person would respond with such anger and stupidity about Ellen Reese. Those that know Ellen admire and respect her positive and accurate views and true interests in making the community of Buffalo a better place for all people. Mr. Jonathan Wellinton-FidrychIII you should be ashamed of the words you used to describe Ellen Reese. I am appaulled and shocked at your racist and biased words. Don’t shoot the messenger just because you don’t agree. Grow up.