More on that UB Letter…
by Buck Quigley - posted 10:32 am, January 29, 2013
Concerning yesterday’s blog post…
Click here to see the actual reply that was sent to Veronica Hemphill-Nichols by UB Assistant Vice President for Government and Community Relations Michael Pietkiewicz on January 23.
It fails to address the requests made by Fruit Belt and McCarley Gardens residents in this letter sent to UB Foundation chairman Francis Letro on January 15.
The January 15 letter was sent after face-to-face requests for the same information were made by George K. Arthur at a December 13 meeting with members of the Economic Opportunity Panel (EOP) that is supposedly interfacing with residents of the Fruit Belt and McCarley Gardens. Although panel members promised to convey the requests to the UB Foundation and UB President Satish Tripathi, the January 3 deadline for a reply (imposed by Arthur) came and went with no response. Hence the need to send the request in writing on January 15 to the chairman of the private UB Foundation—who apparently punted and assigned the job of responding to state employee Pietkiewicz, who writes in his January 23 reply:
“As you know, the University at Buffalo is actively engaging multiple stakeholders around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, including Fruit Belt and McCarley Gardens residents, on a variety of issues. Separately St. John Baptist Church has facilitated numerous meetings with tenants of the McCarley Gardens during this process and will continue to do so in the future. The Economic Opportunity Panel (EOP) has offered multiple opportunities for public input through dozens of individual and group interviews and meetings where residents and neighbors have been encouraged to voice their concerns.”
It’s one thing to hold meetings and let people voice their concerns. It’s another thing to communicate those concerns back to people in power—which the EOP apparently failed to do after the December 13 meeting. Either that, or they communicated residents’ concerns, and the people in power decided the proper response was to ignore them.