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Picking One’s Battles: Part 2 – the Jacobs Plan

The following is a guest post from Stephanie Perry, a fellow BU alumna, a former writer for the Daily Free Press, seen on Twitter at @stephperry. Last week, She began Tweeting about this topic and I asked if she would write something up for Artvoice. 

Stormy over Buffalo Central Terminal

Stormy over Buffalo Central Terminal by Daniel Novak at Flickr

Six months ago, a curious manifesto appeared on Buffalo Rising. This “concept proposal” was sweeping and ambitious, but hardly in the right ways. The writer proposed the mass relocation of Buffalo’s police and fire departments’ headquarters and of the region’s blue chip nonprofit service organizations to the worn but charming public market in the East Side’s  Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood. Into the desirable mansions and buildings vacated by these public and charitable entities would go loft apartments and boutique hotels. Rich people would live in these nice properties while organizations that help disadvantaged people, many of whom are minorities, such as the International Institute, Child and Family Services and the United Way, would be sequestered in a distressed and racially segregated neighborhood that’s not easily accessible to the citywide population.

Private developers would make a killing on these new apartments and condos and return a bit under $800,000 annually to the city and county tax bases so that the city and county might provide services to the public, such as centrally located and publicly accessible police and fire departments, except not that anymore. Never mind that the city budget alone totals $1.4 billion. This is a plan to help the community help rich people help the community.

It would be nearly impossible to propose a more transparently self-serving plan to redistribute real property wealth to developers while simultaneously displacing organizations that have tirelessly served the community and maintained the architectural heritage of the Delaware District for decades. Plus, the short-sighted proposal is stock full of faulty assumptions about urban planning, crime and private property rights. Furthermore, the author’s inappropriate use of first-person perspective, sentence fragments and the conspicuous absence of facts together evoked the tone of a hastily composed high school civics project. I wondered who produced such an implausible, socially irresponsible and poorly written report. Was this the homework of some Rich Kid of Instagram?

The article’s byline was simply “Chris Jacobs,” the author bio at the bottom of the webpage blank. Chris Jacobs the county clerk? Chris Jacobs, whose erratic political resume suggests his most cherished platform is Keeping Chris Jacobs In Office? Chris Jacobs, nephew of the 185th richest person in America?  The odd placement of this brazen but amateur civic proposal on a website mostly dedicated to critiquing storefront aesthetics and hip restaurants suddenly made sense. A very wealthy man of great self-appointed importance had an idea, and this narrative was almost inevitable. It is an election year for the county clerk. The idea was out there and it was only a matter of time before everyone was forced to respond to it. I set a Google news alert for key terms from the proposal and went about my life for half a year.

Finally, last Friday, it happened. Chris Jacobs’s poorly considered vanity proposal complete with professionally commissioned architectural renderings, landed on Page One of The Buffalo News.  The only appropriate answer to the plan that imperils the stability of Delaware Avenue and downtown while disrespecting the work and property rights of nonprofit service organizations is “Thanks but no thanks,” and I find myself empathically supportive of the city’s reaction, as reported by the News, that “at this time the city has no plans” to act.

The article hints at the implausibility of the proposal —

Convince the city to move Police Headquarters to the East Side. Then do the same with the Fire Department.

Next, persuade the many nonprofits that occupy Buffalo’s grandest mansions along Delaware Avenue to pick up and move east, too.

Then sell the old headquarters and the mansions.

— but ultimately validates it more than any amount of billionaire blustering could. The article is predicated on the notion that the Jacobs proposal is worthy of consideration, which it is not, and that City Hall has an obligation to respond to and engage with him on the matter, which it also does not. As originally posted, the article lacked a link to the sloppy proposal Jacobs has been promoting and provided no assessment of its production quality. The News failed to ask Jacobs why he omitted from his list of nonprofit buildings best converted to private residences the UB Foundation-owned mansion that bears his family’s name.

The result is that Jacobs, who is peddling a steaming pile of bullshit, positions himself as a bipartisan populist concerned about the economic recovery of the East Side, while the mayor is an obstructionist, do-nothing fool. Few better narratives exist for campaign literature. (Imagine the flyer reading “Jacobs: Bold plan to boost East Side; City: ‘No plans to do that.’”) The Democratic challenger for county clerk has made an appropriate statement categorically rejecting Jacobs’s proposal. That anyone even needs to engage with this proposal is a travesty. 

What makes it difficult to refuse to engage with Jacobs’s plan is that it presents explicit goals that are worthwhile to pursue: Yes, revitalizing distressed neighborhoods should be a civic goal. Yes, the East Side’s many neighborhoods deserve more attention from the county and city. Yes, grappling with the fact that an enormous portion of the property in Buffalo — particularly hospitals, churches, colleges, museums, schools, nonprofit foundations, even Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency-owned First Niagara Arena — is not taxable is a worthwhile endeavor. However, Jacobs’s plan is a poor one to achieve these worthy goals.

First, Jacobs claims that the strength of the downtown, Elmwood Village and Medical Campus Corridor real estate markets requires mansions and prime-location properties to be put “back in private hands and back on the tax rolls.” Aside from the fact that the claim that valuable real estate must belong to private investors is patently false, (how would any public agency exist in Manhattan were this the case?) the stability of downtown is hardly a foregone conclusion. One Seneca Tower competes with ubiquitous downtown parking lots for the title of most conspicuous under-utilized space in Buffalo. As many people have pointed out, nothing currently prevents private developers from making offers to nonprofits owning buildings they desire. For the right price, a move might be negotiated.

Jacobs’s list of nonprofits ripe for relocation is glaringly classist in its aims. The Red Cross, United Way, International Institute, Child and Family Services, Salvation Army, EPIC and the Catholic Center have strong commitments to aiding poor people. The real estate assets of at least some of these groups bolster their outreach and fundraising capabilities. The strongest example of this may the Buffalo branch of the American Red Cross, an organization that received its mansion at Delaware Avenue and Summer Street specifically as a philanthropic bequest from Carolyn Tripp Clement. Tours of the home not only raise money for the Red Cross but also make the beautiful structure publicly accessible. The Red Cross’s most significant fundraiser, the Mash Bash, takes place on the grounds of the mansion, without which the Red Cross would be unable to raise more than $352,000 in a single night

The implicit goal of Jacobs’s proposal becomes clear when one considers what non-taxed entities with very fine real estate are omitted from his plan: Nardin Academy, Canisius High School, the Ronald McDonald House, the Jacobs Executive Development Center, Gilda’s Club, the County Clerk’s Office itself. Downtown, Elmwood and the Medical Corridor are too nice for poor people, according to Jacobs’s vision. Jacobs euphemistically says relocating service organizations to the Broadway Market would put those groups helping poor people “in closer proximity to those they serve.” In reality, the Broadway Market is less accessible than Delaware Avenue via public transportation for all but those in its immediate neighborhood.

Jacobs’s understanding of crime is fundamentally flawed but central to his proposal. While more densely populated urban neighborhoods generally are safer than those blighted with vacant properties and fewer residents, that busy areas guarantee public safety is oversimplified and confuses cause and effect. “More activity, more people, and more police would make this area begin to feel and to become safer. If people feel safe, many great things begin to happen, such as more people wanting to live in that community,” he claims. Public safety is a necessary condition for growth but no promise of it. And increased public safety itself is by no means a guaranteed outcome of having a police administration building in a neighborhood. Surveillance and safety are hardly synonymous despite the faulty claim that “not just the perception of more eyes on the neighborhood but the reality of more eyes on the neighborhood” will lead to increased safety. The origins of concentrated violence and crime in poor urban neighborhoods are far too complex to be solved by an eight-page development proposal.

The problems of Buffalo’s neighborhoods east of Main Street likewise are too complicated to be summed up by a poorly deployed Yogi Berra quote: “No one goes their anymore. It’s too crowded.” [There/their usage error from original document.] Jacobs refers to the East Side again and again as a monolith even though his proposal affects only one neighborhood, Broadway-Fillmore. His rhetorical questions, “How can we jump start a significant amount of activity? How can we infuse hundreds of people into the East Side in short order?” arrogantly imply hundreds of people do not already live on the East Side. In fact, tens of thousands do. 

Jacobs wraps up his barely coherent proposal by admitting that maybe it’s not very good and, well, do you have a better one, Mr. Mayor? 

After a more detailed analysis, some of these suggested moves may not be feasible, but then many other non-profit/governmental entities exist that were not mentioned here that likely could move. Additionally, locations other than the Broadway Market may be suggested and they absolutely should be considered. The public and non-profit sector should convene to discuss this proposal, perhaps convened by the Mayor of Buffalo.

If it seems like Jacobs does not care to express a coherent plan aware of the city’s long history of poverty and segregation and sensitive to the needs of organizations that benefit the community while simultaneously benefiting private investors, it’s because he really does not care. If Jacobs’s never-going-to-happen proposal has the effect of making Buffalo developers a little wealthier, that would be incidental to what may be the true aim of his plan. The plan’s main purpose is to give Chris Jacobs a talking point and to put the city, the county and his political opponents in the difficult position of saying they reject his plan that has such apparently worthy goals.

It is certainly newsworthy that the holder of a countywide elected office is talking up a ridiculous, low-quality, ill-considered plan to anyone who will listen. The newsworthiness is not in the ideas of the plan itself, burnished by the competent writing skills of a professional reporter. What should be news is the amateurism of plan, which is readily pointed out by the UB School of Architecture and Planning dean interviewed by the News. Unfortunately, too much of the News article is dedicated to drumming up support, creating an impression of false balance, where in fact there is a rather clear judgment to be made on the quality and thoughtfulness of the proposal.

We can and should stop the spread of Chris Jacobs’s terrible proposal for upending public and charitable organizations in the service of making developers wealthier right now. The plan is not worthy of critical analysis, serious consideration or any more printer’s ink. To not offer an immediate counterproposal with fancy renderings does not invalidate the rejection of the plan. I don’t want anymore Google news alerts about “Chris+Jacobs Broadway+Market,” and the people and organizations affected by that monstrosity of a plan deserve more than to be afterthoughts in a mad grab for land and political power by a very wealthy white man.

  • Bruce Beyer

    Thank you Alan for inviting Stephanie to submit this eviscerating dissection of Chris Jacobs absurd proposal. Lot’s of smoke and mirrors, slight of hand, and just plain bullshit. I am reminded of Has Christian Anderson’s tale of the emperors new clothes. Once exposed, Jacob’s “plan” stands naked in the public square.

    • Stephanie Perry

      The very same metaphor occurred to me as I was writing this, but I feared I was a bit long winded already. The role of the media in political reporting should be to call out things like the amateurism and implausibility of this plan; i.e., to tell people the emperor is, in fact, naked. The reporting cited here asks the mayor and other stakeholders what they think of the emperor’s new outfit.

      • UncleBluck

        Nice to hear someone address what used to be called “Journalism” to what is has become in reality “Media”…..other than what I read in Artvoice and the like, there really is no true “Newspaper Journalism” anymore……

      • Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo

        If you think you’re going to find “real journalism” in artvoice, you’re an idiot.

      • Bruce Beyer

        I think the proper response by any reporter worth her salt should simply be, “Nice big truck, too bad about your penis.”

      • political “reporting” in which you don’t even contact the person you are spewing things about for comment.

      • Stephanie Perry

        This is a signed opinion piece. This is commentary. This is not reporting. I have done zero original reporting for this work. I have commented on the plan proposed by Chris Jacobs and how it has been reported upon by The Buffalo News, undeniably the largest and most important news organization in the region, and Buffalo Rising. Should Mr. Jacobs feel he needs to defend his plan against this critique, he seems to have access to a number of venues where he can do so. I would welcome revisions, clarifications or greater details about his plan, which as presented is shoddy and intellectually lazy.

        I worry deeply about the fate of the underprivileged and disenfranchised in our city. I care very much for social justice causes. I want nothing more than for East Side neighborhoods to experience the successes some other Buffalo neighborhoods have. The city as a whole will thrive only when all its constituent parts do. That I have suggestions as to how the city might improve outcomes for all residents and deal with endemic poverty is outside the scope of this argument. As stated above, and to be entirely clear because it’s so common a rebuttal I want to anticipate it, to reject this plan and not immediately offer another plan is not poor reasoning. I am not shutting down all conversation about problems about the East Side. I welcome and encourage intelligent and well-considered ideas.

      • “mad grab for land and political power by a very wealthy white man.”

        I typically wouldn’t suggest publishing this about someone or their plan without interviewing them first. It’s your life though. If you are willing to spew things like this about people before you’ve talked to them or researched their accomplishments that says a lot about you.

      • Stephanie Perry

        The past career (for-profit real estate developer), race, gender and socioeconomic status of someone whose plan so disproportionately affects people of color, the poor and women are directly relevant to my commentary. I am comfortable with my statements and stand by them.

      • so his plan would have more credibility if he wasn’t white and wasn’t wealthy? Your willingness to suggest you can identify his motives are gross. Based on what? You have a dangerous and cynical imagination.

      • Stephanie Perry

        The plan has no credibility because it’s ill reasoned and poorly produced. Have you read it? It’s a joke. It’s filled with weak generalizations, poor writing and typos any set of eyes would have caught had the author cared to edit it just once.

        I have no idea if the lack of social awareness, disregard for vulnerable populations and sense of entitlement that this random plan deserves public attention and response derive from malice, ignorance, arrogance or some combination thereof. You as eager to judge my character as you say I am eager to judge Mr. Jacobs’.

      • Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo

        Oh please, if Chris was a Democrat, you’d be talking about what a great idea it was to put public resources into poor neighborhoods.

      • A Democrat would never propose something so half-baked and idiotic. By the way, Syposs isn’t going to be the Dem elections commissioner.

      • Oh Alan. have you been hacked? As a fellow Democrat, we both know you are giving Dems too much credit.

      • “ill reasoned and poorly produced”. I’d accept that statement except if you took even ten minutes to do your homework on this you’d know that Chris was the earliest and still primary investor in the 700 block of Main. (which looked much like the Broadway Market neighborhood does now 12 years ago) If you haven’t noticed, that block is full of life, jobs, businesses and working people. If anyone is qualified to make these kind of recommendations its someone like Chris, who has done it. Your judgement of him and his plan are predicated on the fact that “you care deeply about the disenfranchised of this city”. This by no means makes you an expert at judging his plan. Chris’s specific track record is the most important thing you should consider before you making such outrageous claims about his motives. If you think the plan is bad, state it…don’t try to make claims that you have any idea of “why” someone is planning what they are planning. I am eager to judge your character because you put your name on very libelous article and claim to know someone’s motives before even talking to them. That makes you an a$$hole.

      • Stephanie Perry

        I suggest you back up and read what I have written, which takes specific issue with things that Jacobs has written in his publicly posted and distributed proposal (I take issue with his faulty claims about crime, assumptions about where needy people live, the idea that the best use for some spaces (but not others) is private residences, his disregard for the private property rights of nonprofits). I do not state that by virtue of his identity his plans must be rejected but rather that the plan is lazy and dumb and not well thought-out. Read this with your eyes and intellect and tell me that you find it compelling as policy recommendation. I do not. It is not appropriate for a professional document. It lacks facts, footnotes, figures. It has clearly not been edited even once. I do believe the recommendations a person makes may be considered in light of their experiences, biases and identity, as I believe it is appropriate to do here.

        What you have stated is that you believe Jacobs’s plan is worthwhile not because of its actual content but because of who he is. This is the very tendency against which I am railing. Even Chris Jacobs, no matter what successes he’s had in the past, has an obligation to prove his credibility when he presents as broad and sweeping as plan as he has. He has not proven himself. It’s an amateur document with fancy renderings and nothing more.

        Would that I were the kind of a$$hole who substitutes dollar signs for S’s. As is, I’m an ordinary, middle-class asshole, I suppose. I have nothing more to say to you as you deem it appropriate to name call in this public forum.

        – $tephanie

      • Then the Jacobs Executive Center should move to the East Side, too, and free that mansion up for some private sector goodness.

        Rory, over on your FB page, someone I never met assailed my “faulty logic” on that point.

        The faulty logic is whining about “venom” and then calling the author of a perfectly reasonable piece with which you happen to disagree an “asshole”.

        The faulty logic is saying that Chris Jacobs’ family and wealth is irrelevant, and then pointing out to me all the great philanthropic things he does with his wealth.

        The faulty logic is telling me that Chris Jacobs’ idiotic idea is above criticism because he helps fund private school for underprivileged kids or something.

        The faulty logic is suggesting that “at least Chris has a vision” even though no, he doesn’t have a “vision”, he has a dumb idea which solves absolutely zero of the structural problems that plague the poor in Buffalo.

        The faulty logic is demanding that the Red Cross and other (very carefully selected) non-profits vacate buildings that were bequeathed to them so that yuppies and hipsters can put them to private use.

        How about you move the City Mission from its sweet downtown space and shunt it off into the ghetto, too, so commuters and the well-to-do don’t need to see it anymore, and so that its prime real estate could be better put to use as a coffee shop or t-shirt emporium.

        Children & Family Services “President and CEO Francisco M. Vasquez didn’t commit to moving, and called the Delaware Avenue bus line important for the people served by the agency”. <- fuck him, right? We could get maybe get a gallery or even an artisanal cocktail shop into that space!

      • Jacobs’ identity as a scion of one of Buffalo’s most venerable and wealthy elite families is absolutely relevant to the noblesse oblige tenor of his alleged “plan”.

  • UncleBluck

    Nice job by Stephanie!! At this point in history I don’t think we can take seriously any proposal of this sort by the wealthy or the influenced by the wealthy as they only have 1 thing in mind which is the continued flow of money to the few at the top…….

    • BufChester

      That’s patently absurd. There should be a financial status litmus test for public discourse?

  • While I don’t agree with Chris Jacob’s proposal, I think you’re reading way too much into his alleged ulterior motives. The proposal is at least sparking a discussion on the condition of the East Side.

    • Christine Slocum

      The conversation regarding poverty and dereliction on the East Side has been roaring ablaze for as long as I’ve been paying attention, which is about six years at this point. I’m sure the conversation existed before I started watching. Chris Jacobs’ idea isn’t initiating anything.

      I think she is reading his motives correctly. The thing is, his logic (maximize development profits) is considered virtue in many circles and this is one of the few pieces calling out that logic for what it is: socially sanctioned redistribution of wealth to the rich.

      • Please correct my math if I’m wrong, but redeveloping the East Side will result in developers making money. Regardless of whether or not this relocation program takes place.

      • Christine Slocum

        Yes. However, relocation does not guarantee better service provision for the clients of the non-profits that Jacobs presents locating. His idea is based on the premise that the primary role of non-profits is some sort of tax-base obstructionism. That is not the case. Non-profits locate in various places for the same reasons businesses do – it makes sense for their operations and those who serve. That all clients are on the East Side is a myth – there is poverty in all corners of the city. It would be a burden for a Riverside family to have to get to Filmore on public transit for all of their services. It’s not a quick process as it is, and that’s with many of the human service providers located on Main/Delaware or Downtown.

        Buffalo needs more than redevelopment. Profit need not be the only priority we have in revitalizing Buffalo. We need to keep a keen eye on how our actions impact all residents – not just the investors, not just the patrons of various businesses, but also the residents whose circumstances have left them in a position of vulnerability.

  • Russ Andolina

    Ouch. Mic drop.

    I initially was receptive to ANYTHING that would invest in that district of the city but as always…follow the money.

    • Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo

      Follow what money?

      The increased tax base that the city would benefit from, by virtue of more private sector residential development downtown? Wonderful. You write as if Chris Jacobs himself is going snatch up police headquarters for his own development project.

      Why can’t a Republican ever have a plan to solve a problem that isn’t instinctively slandered by the organized left — not on meritt or substance — but on tone and implication?

      If Chris was Democrat, you morons would be all about this.

      • A Democrat would never propose something so fundamentally stupid, sock puppet. Did Jacobs promise you a job or something?

      • Russ Andolina

        lol you sound mad. Are you mad?

  • MikeBuffalo

    Has anyone even asked the heads of the non profits if they wanted to move? I assume they would say no and that they are happy with their current locations. So this whole discussion is moot.

  • Matthew Ricchiazzi

    bendoho, you are a really dumb prick.

  • jerkwagon420

    Jacobs White Guilt is only overshadowed by his sheltered gullibility. Remember all the times B-Lo Schools Superintendent James Dubz Williams stuck him with the check at the Chop House — all the while C. Jakes thinking he was making inroads with his brother of a different nanny? Then, out of the blue, Chris’s heart was ripped in two when it was revealed that his homie James was looking to step out on him and Buffalo and skip town to take a Superintendent’s job in Memphis? It felt like I was kicked in the gut, he croaked through his tears in one of the most memorable semi public municipal jiltings ever. Poor Chris had even lied for Williams saying that J Dubz never made any mention of Mckinley Coach Stiles being gay and shortly thereafter Williams came right out and admitted he had in fact said it. This Jacobs has rolled fairly far from the tree of whatever made his progenitors very very rich. His “ideas” are flaccid and his political/civic acumen borders on the remedial. Maybe Rob Rich or the Gioias can hold some blueblood emergency training sessions and try to teach this dope how not to keep embarrassing himself. He’s a pedigreed jackass.

    • Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo

      Moving governmental administrative operations and service delivery functions to a poor a neighborhood is a good idea, that would indeed help better serve the needs of distressed communities. More economic activity in poor communities is a good thing. Nothing about that is suspect.

      As for Chris — it takes a lot of personal courage to want to serve as a public official. He is obviously a personally successful and doesn’t at all need the kind of BS that comes with politics. The reason that good people stay out of politics is exactly this — feigned, contrived, shallow criticisms of good ideas.

      • Sock puppet.

      • jerkwagon420

        Oh I am teary eyed to think of the courage it takes. Larry Quinn is said to be a swell guy by his cadre of lackeys too. Jacobs being a nice guy or not has no bearing on his tepid career to date as any kind of doer, bridge builder or mover. Rocco’s shipping container dog stand has more to offer and that aint saying much.

  • Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo

    This is the dumbest and most ignorant criticism I’ve ever read.

    Chris is one of the only locally elected public officials who is willing to articulate aspirational solutions to problems that 90% of our electeds dare not speak about.

    We need more politicians who are willing to look for outside the box solutions to reviving the city. And the ideas he presents would hugely benefit one of the most distressed neighborhoods in the city.

    It’s the best idea to bring back investment viability to Broadway Fillmore that I’ve ever heard in my lifetime — which says something about the quality of most of our politicians, and the obvious political courage that was required of Jacobs to push for a project of this scale.

    If the writer of this article has a better plan, then she should articulate it. Or she can do the cowardly thing and throw stones that are devoid of solutions.

    I’m all for going after lazy and corrupt politicians — but Chris is neither. We should thank him for going above and beyond his job description to help a section of the city that no one else in positions of power seem to care about.

    And if the author wants to talk about editorial motivations, what are hers? Let’s be honest: if Chris was a Democrat rather than a Republican, you would be bending over backwards to promote the same exact idea.

    Your feigned outrage is laughable and your contrived criticism is shallow. These are your arguments:

    He thinks that foundations who claim to be helping the poor should locate themselves in neighborhoods with the most need, rather than in mansions along Delaware. How dare he? Did he ask anyone if they liked their offices?

    He thinks that we should locate police headquarters in the most crime ridden part of the city. What’s he smoking?

    He thinks that we should return tax exempt properties to the tax rolls. Who does he think he is? Did he even ask anyone what they thought?

    Laughable, indeed.

    • What’s laughable is using a sock puppet to leave insulting commentary.

  • Grassy Roofs

    There was not an ounce of optimism or other options – just more blaming. This is not a bad idea for a few buildings in the neighborhood. I saw the terminal and imagined the city making use of their property. I do think its possible for non for profits to move away from their blue blood investment gifts. Treat mansions as mansions. If you don’t like Chris Jacobs because he’s rich, that’s your battle- let his influence open the doors that the city otherwise keeps closed. He’s right, the east side could use a vote of confidence.

  • Joe

    Little late on this, but this author is an absolute moron…You seem to have some deep seeded anger towards Chris Jacobs who, for the most part, has done a lot of good for Erie County…This is coming from myself, a Democrat.

    • You know what’s good? Substantive comments. Tell me why this “author is an absolute moron”.

      You know what’s not good? Just hurling ad hominems at someone and not actually arguing a point of any sort.

      • Joe

        Alan, you are exactly what is wrong with this world, you assume that because Jacobs is a Republican he is a stupid…this is based on your previous comments on this story that had absolutley nothing to back it up.

        Please explain to me how this is a bad idea? This would draw attention to the East Side and spurn growth. Why should these non profits have these beautiful mansions on Delaware for little to no money? Giving tax revenue back to Buffalo is a bad thing? You are so clueless…honestly don’t even respond because I do not want to get into an argument with someone who has an entitled liberal mentality…again I am liberal, but I don’t think I am above anyone simply becasue they are from a different political party.

        Please explain what is so bad about Chris Jacobs? He has done a ton for this community and saved Erie county millions of dollars, if you cannot see that I am sorry you should not be writing anything in a public forum that some of these bufoons might believe.

      • *Sigh*. Yes, of course. I am EXACTLY WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD, providing people with a counterpoint to a typical Buffalo-is-enamored-with-big-money dumb idea to force non-profits that serve the poor to divest themselves of the assets that were bequeathed to them, and which they have held and improved for the public for all these years, when all the money disappeared from this region.

        It’s a bad idea for all the reasons set forth in the piece, which speaks for itself and which I’m neither going to repeat nor paraphrase.

        I frankly don’t know who you are, but you seem to think of yourself as a “liberal”, and I’m pretty sure that anyone who self-identifies honestly as a “liberal” would not be forcing the Red Cross or United Way or International Institute or Women & Children Services to sell off properties that they use for their headquarters – all of which are conveniently located for the people who use them from throughout the city and region, rather than just one particular part of the city.

        I never wrote or said that there’s anything wrong with Chris the fuck Jacobs, so why not – instead of commenting on posts that are a month old – actually pull your head out of your ass and go attack someone else. We’ve established that you’re supposedly a liberal who thinks Chris Jacobs is the bee’s knees and can do no wrong, and that these greedy non-profits who help the poorest and most needy in our society can all go fuck themselves. Some “liberal”.

      • Joe

        Wowwwww you are an absolute joke, and in no way professional. I never said he was the “bee’s knees,” but this idea is at least getting people talking. No one is forcing anyone to do anything at this point, but you don’t think the plan calls for those organizations to be placed in approriate locations? Yes, they would be. Change needs to happen and anyone with a brain would know that this article is cleary one sided and has an agenda aimed at Jacobs, for what appears to be no reason, get a life.

      • Yes, the idea was “getting people talking”, which is a pretty fucking weak goal, as goals go, but whatever. So, here you have a counterpoint; i.e., the very embodiment of “people talking”, and the best you can do is call the author a moron. Fuck off, troll. Whatever they’re teaching you at UB, you should get your money back.