by Carl Paladino - posted 1:42 pm, February 10, 2016
Dear Fellow Republicans and New Yorkers,
Dear Fellow Republicans and New Yorkers,
By Carl Paladino
As it stands now the chances of Mayoral control of the Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) are 1 in 10.
If it were to pass State government, it will never survive in the courts.
The lack of basic understanding of constitutional law by Byron Brown and Darius Pridgen is astounding. What if every time we disagreed with one of their decisions we threw them out of office?
As for Wilmers, Koelmel, White and the group of 18 liberal elitists trying to manipulate from behind the curtain, this loss will show that they and the Board of Education (BOE) minority (former majority) have become irrelevant as leaders in this community. In the past they gave us three incompetent carpetbaggers as Superintendents who came with no institutional knowledge and talked big but didn’t have the ability or gut to stand up to those parasites who breed off of the power and money of the BPS.
How many additional family members are Grass Roots and Crystal Peoples looking to put on the BPS payroll? She already has two no-shows on the Municipal Housing Authority.
She also wants to set quotas to replace the merit system with a race based system to destroy what is left of morale in the Buffalo Public Schools (BPS.).
The cowardly conspiracy of Black elected and not elected leaders, union leadership and private business people to maintain the status quo for their own empowerment with no regard for the thousands of children now held hungry and uneducated, circling the drain, as captives in the cycle of poverty, is solely for the purpose of providing the voting base for liberal candidates.
It is no secret that that ineffective leadership in the past resulted in the generational dysfunction of the BPS that we suffer today.
“Mayoral Control” is an act of desperation, similar to the incompetent minority Board members who, for lack of any articulate, intelligent argument, comment or solution on an issue, blurt the race card.
This attempt to remove from office reform minded Board members, elected specifically to change the direction of the BPS, is an affront to the taxpayers and parents of Buffalo and an unconstitutional abuse, illustrating only the desperation of those whose watch has ended.
December 12, 2014
New York State Office of the State Comptroller
Thomas P. DiNapoli
New York State Comptroller
110 State Street
Albany, New York 12236
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234
Dear Comptroller DiNapoli and Commissioner King:
The Program Provider seeks to close out the 12- year, $1.4 billion, Buffalo Public School System– Joint Schools Construction Program (Program) with the Joint Schools Construction Board (JSCB.) The current Board of Education majority members appointed to the JSCB conducted an independent inquiry and have found clear and convincing evidence that the oversight, review and internal audit performed during the course of the Program was severely lacking and corrupted, requiring a comprehensive independent audit to be conducted immediately. What some want to describe as a model school reconstruction program appears instead to have been an intentional ongoing conspiracy to defraud the taxpayers of New York State of millions of dollars.
The Program Agreement was not consistent with usual and customary controls over the Program Provider. The Program Provider’s procedures, the bidding and award of sub-contracts, the lack of definition, the lack of transparency and the lack of any agreement to establish the amount of profit earned by the Program Provider, its consultants and contractors, self-dealing, political “fees” paid to consultants and the disbursement of taxpayer funds must all be reviewed.
Until recently, the JSCB and its representatives never asked for, nor were they made aware of, all of the Program Provider’s subcontractor bids received or the manner in which bids were awarded. In some cases bids awarded to contractors who had close relationships with certain consultants, paid the consultants to secure contracts for them. The same consultants also received funds from the Program Provider. JSCB representatives, who had no experience with construction management, were never instructed to request, obtain and review such documents. There were no checks and balances over executed contracts and no evidence of the amount and nature of all payments, disbursements and profits made on any of the projects.
The hybrid and unique nature of the Program Agreement was not consistent with usual and customary controls over a Program Provider. It is evident that from inception the provision for a guaranteed maximum cost allowance, apparently determined jointly by the State Education Department and the Program Manager, prior to the rendering of a definition, feasibility and any scoping and the preparation of any plans or specs, left the Program Provider with the exclusive right, without oversight, to determine the scope and cost of the work and the amount of its own profits. The Program Provider dictated the plans and specs, hired and guided the architect, negotiated and awarded contracts with sub-contractors and set its own profit margins, all without objective public scrutiny. Allegedly the Program Provider also owned a non-union contracting company which was allowed to bid on certain sub-contracts.
As a result of the above, the JSCB and the Buffalo Board of Education voted to have a complete and thorough independent audit of the entire Program from Phase 1 to Phase 5.
The JSCB also voted to request that the New York State Office of the State Comptroller (NYSOSC) conduct a full and comprehensive audit with respect to the Program.
The politics involved, considering the special relationship between the Governor and the Program Provider, especially in the context of the Albany’s corruption, will put NYSOSC and the State Education Department (SED) in an unbearable position, if not a clear conflict. The audit may very well turn into a forensic audit as the history of the untoward relationships are peeled back.
For that reason, I request that NYSOSC and or SED fund an independent comprehensive audit by a credible private auditor.
Note that an audit conducted by the NYSOSC of the Phase I of the Program for the period from September 2003 to February 28, 2006 was incomplete and resulted in little or no follow up on its recommendations. The audit pointed out that the Program Manager was self- dealing but did nothing except to say that the practice must stop (which it apparently did not.)
Also in September, 2014, the JSCB voted to request that the Program Provider furnish it and its agents with copies of all subcontractor bids, contracts, payments and disbursements made from the maximum cost allowance which was paid to the Program Provider during the entire term of the contract. It is now three months later and the Program Provider is non- responsive, stonewalling, refusing to answer whether or not and when they might produce the requested information and documents.
The Program Provider’s attorneys are conflicted insofar as they are also outside counsel to the Buffalo Public Schools.
Please advise of your intentions.
Very Truly Yours,
Carl P. Paladino
Cc: Joint Schools Construction Board
Buffalo Board of Education
by Carl Paladino
Western New York needs all of the State economic development money it can get.
Nevertheless, our State Legislators and Andrew Cuomo refuse to apply, for the benefit of the people of Western New York (WNY,) hundreds of millions of dollars generated by the retail sale of Niagara Power Project power which was allocated for Western New York (WNY) economic development but unused, sold at retail and converted to cash.
Over the last 50 years Albany has illegally converted billions of dollars of such New York State Power Authority (NYSPA) escrow funds into the State’s General Fund to balance its budgets. Those monies could have at least been used to eliminate local debt and thereby reduce property taxes creating an atmosphere accepting to development. Our local legislative delegation, Republican and Democrat, has been too lame, lazy and complicit to understand the significance, let alone confront the “three men in the room cabal” on the issue.
Since he was elected, Andrew Cuomo has illegally swept over $1 billion of WNY escrowed funds to the State treasury. He owes WNY big-time. Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” is merely an attempt to mollify the inequity with smoke and mirrors.
For three years Cuomo did nothing, but now that it is election time, he has suddenly found WNY and is smothering us with the political illusion that his Start Up New York and other farcical subsidy programs are creating an atmosphere which will result in economic development and jobs. Cuomo and his people are great at deception. They deny truth and transparency, instead giving us a mountain of political rhetoric while they quietly trump up numbers and issue no bid contracts to Cuomo’s friends and family club.
At River-bend in Buffalo, Cuomo is subsidizing a solar panel company under Federal investigation with $750 million of taxpayer money to “buy” 1500 jobs ($500,000 per job.) The key word is “buy.” Subsidies do not create a permanent atmosphere for job creation. They only cause an unleveled playing field which frustrates development, burdens taxpayers and adds to a dysfunctional business atmosphere that forces companies like Tyson Foods to send 300 jobs out the back door.
Texas has no income tax. They don’t buy jobs. Businesses move to Texas without subsidy because Texas has a government that serves the people. Instead of commending them as an illustration of good government our small minded press criticizes them for stealing our businesses.
Permanent job retention and development will only be achieved by cutting taxes and debilitating regulation. We need culture change in Albany. Buying jobs in an election year to create an illusion of investment in WNY is just more sick politics.
Cuomo has prohibited Hydrolic-Fracking upstate which would have resulted in thousands of good paying private sector jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenue to State and local governments which, in turn, could have been used to lower taxes and create a lasting atmosphere for job creation and economic development. Out of 37 States that can Hydro-Frack, 36 do. Who’s laughing all the way to the bank?
How sick is it that one powerful, arrogant and vain man will selfishly deprive millions of people of an economic opportunity solely to advance himself politically.
Buffalo is the third poorest City in America with the highest tax rates and unbearable bureaucratic regulation. We are losing our youth in droves.
Is there any doubt that after the election Cuomo will again forget about Upstate and Long Island?
While Cuomo fiddles Upstate New York circles the drain.