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The Dog Ate My Homework, er…. Petition

Otto Golden Thief

Otto, Petition Destroyer

 It’s Designating Petition time again for New York politicians.   This sacred ritual plays itself out every year for the thousands of elected officials in the Empire State.   In general, these petitions are the vehicle for office holders and seekers to get their names printed on the millions of ballots consumed in party primary and general elections.   Ballot access requires approximately 5% of the voters registered in each political unit (county, city, town, ward, etc. ) to sign an otherwise meaningless document so that the person(s) listed at the top can run in a party primary.   If there is only one candidate, there is no primary and the office seeker proceeds to the ballot in the November General Election.   There are now eight political parties in New York, and candidates can run on all lines if they wish, so they often have multiple petitions.    The Democrats and Republicans have clouds of registered voters, so 5% can be a big number and the election law has minimum numbers like 500, 1000, and 2000, …. to make life easier.   With the smaller parties, like the Working Families Party (line #6), the number of required signatures in a county legislative race will only be about 20.   Sounds easy, but there are few people eligible to sign, scattered over a large geographic area, and the inconsiderate suckers are never home when you knock on their door.   This means a petition sheet with ten signatures is a valuable document intended to become official on filing with the Board of Elections.   Don’t have enough signatures or otherwise screw up your petition or filing and you don’t get the party line.   Very important for the Dem and Rep  lines, less so for smaller parties, but still highly sought after and prized.   Many elected officials would not be in office, but for the votes they got on the Conservative, Independence and Working Families lines.    And if you have the line, your opponent doesn’t.   Enter Otto, the Petition Eating Dog, who decides to chew on your precious piece of paper a few days before the final filing date, and you have a big problem: 

Chewed Pet Page

Not to worry.   While these petitions are important documents (What good is your vote if you don’t have anyone to vote for?), compliance with the numerous requirements of the election law is only required to be “substantial” and rules are liberally construed consistent with the prevention of fraud and proper administration of the election process.   In English, this means you can screw up a little as long as you are not committing fraud and the Board of Elections (or the courts) can figure out what you are trying to accomplish. 

So break out the glue pot and an  iron, grab a blank petition, and create a Frankenstein which preserves as much of the original  petition (particularly the signatures) as possible.   The result presented below, may raise some eyebrows, but it’ll get you on the ballot.

Fixed-0001

When you think about it, the only important part of the original which you cannot rebuild is the voter’s signatures.   If you could do signatures on your own, you could do this on the kitchen table.   So no harm, no foul.   The Board of Elections can still see who signed for you.   Initial any obvious changes and you are on your way to a career as a grinning, tax eating politico.

Politician


DiPizio Construction Co. Wins Major Appellate Court Ruling on Canalside Suit

A lot went haywire since then: December 5, 2011 - Congressman Higgins and Rosanne DiPizio of DiPizio Construction Announce That Buffalo is 3rd in the Nation in Construction Jobs Added in 2011.

December 5, 2011 – Congressman Higgins and Rosanne DiPizio of DiPizio Construction Announce That Buffalo is 3rd in the Nation in Construction Jobs Added in 2011. A lot went haywire since then.

 

DiPizio Construction Co. Wins Major Appellate Court Ruling on Canalside Suit

by Tony Farina

The local construction company suing the state over its termination as the Canalside contractor in July of 2013 has won a major victory in the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court.

In a unanimous ruling handed down last week, the court reinstated DiPizio Construction’s claim that the president of the state’s Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) may have lacked the legal authority to terminate DiPizio from the $20 million replica canal project without authorization in the form of a vote from the Board of Directors, something DiPizio’s lawyers contend never happened.

“The court’s decision calls into question whether the termination by ECHDC President Dee was valid or not,” said Michael Ferdman, the attorney who argued the appeal for the DiPizio firm.  “We’re very pleased with this decision, we won.”

Dee had notified DiPizio by letter in May of 2013 that ECHDC intended to remove the company from the job, which it did in July, because it was falling behind construction schedule and not meeting its obligations on materials and with coordinating work with subcontractors.

Ferdman called the termination notice a political document issued to cover up “the bad faith administration of the construction agreement” that forced long delays and drove up “not just DiPizio Construction Co.’s costs, but taxpayers’ costs.”

In addition to construction costs, the state has been paying millions of taxpayer dollars in legal fees to the Phillips Lytle law firm to defend itself against the lawsuit by the local contractor which maintains it has been severely damaged by the negative publicity it received as a result of its termination that was well promulgated by ECHDC at the time which was trying to blame DiPizio for falling behind the schedule laid out by Albany for the replica canal project.

The appellate court ruling in favor of DiPizio sets aside the summary judgment issued by State Supreme Court Justice Timothy Walker in January of 2014 in favor of ECHDC.

Walker had basically decided that the Board of Trustees had ratified the termination (without a vote), ruling they had been notified and had sufficient information from Dee and understood the issues.  After that decision, Ferdman took depositions from board members—in a related action– and found “they did not know there were design changes and design errors” by ECHDC and had only heard from Dee that problems and delays were all DiPizio’s fault.

The latest ruling, says Ferdman, means the court decided there are triable issues of what the board understood and calls into question whether the termination by Dee was valid or not.

In its ruling, the Appellate Division said despite ECHDC’s bylaws and the presumption that the board’s president had the authority to enter into and terminate contracts in the ordinary course of business and that no formal vote was required, “there are triable issues of fact whether a formal vote of the Board was required.”

Now that DiPizio’s complaint has been reinstated in front of Walker, Ferdman is hoping the case will eventually go in front of jury that will have the opportunity to hear all the evidence and decide whether the termination of the construction firm with a solid 37-year history of satisfactory work was properly authorized or not.

The costs to taxpayers for the legal battle are soaring, and the construction company is also paying plenty to defend itself and try to recover its reputation through the courts.  Veteran court observers suggest the Appellate Division ruling in favor of DiPizio could help boost the possibility of a settlement, but no word yet from ECHDC on the ruling or possible settlement efforts.


Staycation: Summer Vacation Destinations Close to Home

Pierce Arrow Museum

Pierce Arrow Museum

It’s that time of year again: summer vacation. Unfortunately for many of us, due to finances, work, school, kids, or just an overall lack of free time, the ‘vacation’ part of summer may not fit into the equation. Luckily, Western and Upstate New York, our own backyard, is a vacation destination. Yes, from outdoorsy activities to beach spots to grandiose mansions and castles, ingredients for relaxation, thrills and fun are all around us.  So, have a staycation: here are some cool ideas outside of the typical tourist destinations to feed your wanderlust.  Some destinations can be a weekend trip, a day trip or even a half day trip.

In addition to several features in this week’s this week’s print edition, we will be posting near by destinations and day trip ideas here on Artvoice Daily over the course of the week, starting with these picks less than an hour from the city, care of Artvoice Staffer Kellie Coppola. To view all of the other posts as they are added, click here.

 

Pierce Arrow Museum

http://www.pierce­arrow.com/

263 Michigan Ave. Buffalo, NY 14203 / 716-­853-­0084

Hours Thursday­Sunday 11 a.m.­ 4 p.m.

Guided tours are available for $20 per person.

It’s that little red building with the big sign on Michigan Avenue that you pass every time on your way to Chef’s and wonder what there is to see inside, and why it’s relevant. Make the stop, you’ll find that it’s more than worth the trip (and very relevant). Discover lesser known aspects of Buffalo history at a locally owned non­profit museum that displays antique vehicles from Buffalo area motor companies such as Pierce­Arrow and the E.R. Thomas Motor Company. Also see a display of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s design for an innovative filling station that was never made for use. For information on tours, banquet and event hosting, see website.

 

West Side Bazaar

Address: 25 Grant St., Buffalo NY, 14213 / 716-­464-­6389 / info@westsidebazaar.com

http://www.westsidebazaar.com/

Take your taste buds on a vacation without a plane ticket or hotel reservations. Created by the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI), an organization working for economic development and community cooperation in Buffalo’s West Side, the West Side Bazaar is a place to experience rich ethnic diversity in a central gathering place. Try cuisine from all over the world and purchase unique gifts while supporting the community in a vibrant atmosphere. More information and hours of operation are available on the website.

 

Baehre SwampGreat Baehre Swamp

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/82840.html

General location directions: Route 78 North (Transit Road) to Klein Road (west) and then north on Hopkins Road Amherst, NY 14221. Destination is adjacent to the Amherst Conservation Park.

Can’t make it to the Everglades? No worries, Amherst has it’s very own 270 acre wetland area perfect for hiking, biking and looking for wildlife. Travel along the boardwalk and keep an eye out for beavers, muskrats, birds of prey and various amphibians.

 

Asa Ransom House Bed and Breakfast

http://asaransom.com

10529 Main St. (NY Rt. 5) Clarence/Buffalo, NY 14031 / 716-759-2315

Voted number one Bed and Breakfast in the “Best of Buffalo” survey, the Asa Ransom house is a quaint place to call home not so far away from home, even if only for an evening or two. Let innkeeper Robert Lenz and his pal, golden retriever George welcome you into their home, former 19th century grist mill turned relaxing and homey staycation spot. Rooms replete with warmth and 19th century charm and the historic library and herb garden are the perfect places to relax and unwind. Treat yourself to tea in the Ransom Room, summer concerts in the garden, or dinner theatre in the dining room (closed July and August). Sneak off the grounds to go on a treasure hunt through the streets of Clarence, “the antique capital of Western New York.”

 

East Aurora

http://www.east­aurora.ny.us

Village Hall — 571 Main St., East Aurora, NY 14052 / 716-­652-­6000

About 25 minutes from Buffalo

Just Southeast of Buffalo neighboring Orchard Park, West Seneca and Hamburg, the village of East Aurora is a cosy community with plenty of history. East Aurora is home to former President Millard Fillmore, the Roycroft Movement and Fisher Price toy company, not to mention the many charming shops, streets and eateries. Whether you explore for a day or stay the night at a local bed and breakfast, East Aurora has plenty of attractions as well as events going on all summer. Four additional notable East Aurora attractions follow:

 

Roycroft Campus

http://www.ralaweb.com

Roycrofters at Large Association, 1054 Olean Rd. East Aurora, New York 14052 / 716-655-7252 / roycroftmail@verizon.net

Walk in the footsteps of artisans past and present around this historical artist community, created by Elbert Hubbard prominent leader of the Arts and Crafts movement. The campus is kept alive today by registered Roycrofters at Large association artists, merchants and traveling museum exhibits that create and showcase pieces in the signature Arts and Crafts style. Spend a night at the Roycroft Inn and visit the Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum for more information about Hubbard’s legacy.

 

Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum

http://www.roycrofter.com/museum.htm

363 Oakwood Ave. East Aurora, New York 14052

hours: Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday, 1­4 p.m. from June 1­ October 31

A guided tour of the Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum will provide interesting information on Elbert Hubbard and his legacy in the Arts and Crafts movement. For more information about the museum and on scheduling a private tour, call 716-­652-­4735. 

 

Millard FilmoreMillard Fillmore House Museum

http://www.aurorahistoricalsociety.com/pages/millard­fillmore-presidential­site

24 Shearer Ave. East Aurora, NY 14052

hours: Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, June – October. Tours begin at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 and 3 p.m.

$10 per person, Ages 13­-18: $5, 12 and younger: free

See the rooms in which the president ate, slept, and raised a family through a guided, docent led tour. Tours last approximately one hour. Combination Ticket (also includes the Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum) are $15. Special tours are available. Call 716­-652­-4735 for more information.

 

Explore and More Museum

http://www.exploreandmore.org

300 Gleed Ave. East Aurora, NY 14052 / 716-­655-­5131

Wednesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m, First Friday of the Month 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Adults & children ages 1 & up: $5, Children under age 1: free

Need a day staycation with the little ones? Explore and More family Museum is geared for ages 1­-10 and has lots of activities, interactive exhibits and special events to keep them entertained and engaged as they learn in a fun atmosphere. Keep an eye out for their new, larger location at Canalside.

 

Niagara Wine trailNiagara Wine Trail

http://niagarawinetrail.org

Niagara, Orleans and Monroe Counties, Lockport, NY 14094

Visit one, two, or 22 wineries in your own backyard! Western New York’s unique climate and soil makes it the perfect location for wineries such as Honeymoon Trail, Midnight Run and Black Willow to prosper. Visit the website for information on trip planning, accommodations and special events that are definitely worth the trek (cough cough the Niagara Wine and Culinary Festival on July 25­26 in Lewiston!). Even if wine isn’t your thing, the Niagara Wine Trail features many distilleries, breweries, farmer’s markets and local shopping.


A 12 Year Term Limit Is Not Reform

Filed under: Erie County, Local Politics

termlimits

Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick several months ago proposed limiting county legislators to ten consecutive years in office. Hardwick’s proposal only applied to county legislators and not to other county wide elected positions. Hardwick has now revised his proposal to be a limit of twelve consecutive years that will apply to County Legislators and all other county elected officials which includes the County Executive, Sheriff, District Attorney, Comptroller and Clerk.

I support term limits because over time power corrupts and because elections are so strongly rigged in favor of incumbents. Ninety percent of the time no matter the office an incumbent wins because the drawing of district lines, access to money, access to patronage employees, and free media which builds name recognition, typically results in a landslide victory. Very few elections are even competitive, many incumbents win election without any opponent because the odds of success for any challenger are just too high.

Public service should not be a career, after a period of time people should step aside, move on and let someone else serve. Once people get a taste of the power and perks of public office, they rarely want to leave. Term limits at least every few years creates an open seat where all candidates are challengers without the rigged benefits of being an incumbent.

The problem with Hardwick’s proposal is that a limit of twelve consecutive years is too long. If a twelve year term limit was enacted in the year 2000, an analysis of county elections since then shows that only one county politician would have been term limited in 2013 (Lynn Marinelli). If an eight year limit was enacted in the year 2000, seven politicians would have been term limited (Marinelli(09), Sheriff Howard(13), Legislator Mills (13), Legislator Loughran (13), Legislator Rath (15), Legislator Grant(15), District Attorney Sedita (16).

It is easy to propose a twelve year consecutive limit and then not apply it retroactively to yourself. Hardwick believes that it would be unfair to make the law retroactive because “If someone who was elected eight or 10 years ago knew at the time that they would be subject to term limits, maybe they would not have sought re-election”. What kind of logic is that?

An eight year limit would actually have an impact in moving incumbents along and creating open seats for a more competitive election. A twelve year limit is pretend reform. In the past fifteen years a twelve year limit would have resulted in one politician being term limited. According to the Buffalo News: “The aim of the proposed law change, said Hardwick, is to combat the potentially corrupting influences of incumbency”. If the goal is to combat the corrupting influences of incumbency then do something meaningful like an 8 year limit, instead of a twelve year limit which does not have any impact.

Interestingly in the City of Buffalo from 1928 until the late 1960’s Mayor’s were limited to serving one four year term. Mayor Frank Sedita did not like being limited to one term so by action of the City Council the limit was removed. Without term limits there we had 16 years of Mayor Griffin, 12 years of Masiello and soon 12 years of Brown. Three Mayors over 40 years, which would have been ten different Mayors instead with a one term limit.

The public needs to demand an eight year term limit for all county elected officials as real reform. We have an eight year term limit for President of the United States, the town of Amherst has an eight year limit as does Evans and Lackawanna. Eight is enough!


Term Limits In Erie County

Filed under: Erie County, Local Politics
Tags:

termlimits

Last week I spoke before the Erie County Legislature in support of term limits for county elected officials. Legislator Kevin Hardwick has filed an item seeking to limit legislators to no more than ten consecutive years in office. Hardwick is only addressing legislators, although I support term limits for all county elected officials. In my opinion a ten year limit is too long, my preference would be for a four or eight year limit.

When researching term limits I was surprised to learn that from 1928 to 1969, the City of Buffalo limited Mayors to one four year term. Over a forty year period Buffalo had ten different Mayors. Once term limits were removed by Mayor Frank Sedita, Buffalo for better or worse has had three Mayors over the past forty years (Griffin 16 years, Masiello 12 years, Byron Brown at the end of his current term will be 12 years).

The history of term limits is interesting, I made the following points when I spoke to the Legislature.

  • In Greek & Roman times elected officials were limited to serving 1 year
  • The Articles of Confederation our nation’s first constitution in 1781 limited members of congress to 3 years.
  • This limit came from Thomas Jefferson who expressed concern that without term limits elected officials would remain in office for life.
  • For over 150 years George Washington set the standard that Presidents should not serve more than 2 terms. After Franklin Roosevelt ran for 4 terms the U.S. Constitution was changed in 1951 to limit Presidents to 2 terms.
  • Today many states and cities limit terms of office. Locally the town of Tonawanda has a 12 year limit. Amherst, Evans and Lackawanna have an 8 year limit.
  • From 1928 until 1969 Mayors of Buffalo were limited to one term.
  • I support term limits because running for public office is a rigged game. Incumbents are re-elected 98% of the time because they have all of the advantages
  1. Districts lines are gerrymandered and tilted towards one party or the other
  2. They typically raise more money
  3. Able to generate free press
  4. Access to paid staff in their offices, Board of Elections, Party Headquarters
  • Elections are simply not a fair or competitive fight. 
  • Public service should not be a career. People should contribute for a few years and move on. Every few years we need open seats to allow new people and new ideas to step forward.
  • 10 years too long. I support 4 or 8 year limit for all county officials

 


Campaign Finance Irregularity Wednesday

Cheers to Steve Pigeon and Kristy Mazurek, who have managed to crowbar their names back into the news. They have either found or manufactured a crisis, accusing Board of Election workers of destroying NYSUT apparatchik Mike Deely’s petitions for county committee.

Is it true? Who knows, but the accusation has been trumpeted, and it’s now Dennis Ward’s and Jeremy Zellner’s problem to unfuck. From Caputo’s PoliticsNY.net

Mike Deely, regional staff director of the New York State United Teachers Union. He’s one of the largest donors to the ECDC over the years and a longtime member of the party’s executive board. Deely recently joined PMB forces, upset with the direction headquarters has taken in the last year.

In the meantime, West Seneca has (naturally) been the epicenter of Pigeon’s and local Conservative Party head Ralph Lorigo.  Steve Casey’s departure from City Hall to become the CEO of the monstrous Scott Congel-led Seneca Mall project underscores the political nature of that project. 

Floridian billionaire Tom Golisano is talking about joining with Congel for the location of the Seneca Mall, near the I-90 and Ridge Road. That land deal has been on simmer since late 2013, at least. 

Pyramid Management Group out of Syracuse have been sniffing around the Seneca Mall since at least last summer.  Look at this August 2013 article from the West Seneca Bee regarding the approval of $50k for town SEQR review of the Seneca Mall site. 

Though not much other detail was offered at Monday night’s Town Board meeting, the board unanimously approved a feasibility study to be performed regarding the proposed development of the former Seneca Mall site at a cost not to exceed $30,000…

…[Town Councilman Eugene P.] Hart said he had just learned of this resolution the day of the vote. Henry said it all came together “pretty quick.” He said the town was required to have the grant application submitted by Aug. 12, hence the need for immediate action.

“It seems very cryptic when you read it,” said Hart. “People will wonder what’s going on.”

[Supervisor Sheila] Meegan said she realized that, but they can’t “spill the beans.”

Hart also told the public that it is the intent of the board to rezone the former Seneca Mall site from industrial to commercial, as per the owner’s request. He said he could not offer much information but did say the proposed development would be a “game-changer” for the town.

Councilman John M. Rusinski said a delicate balance must be struck between the needs of the taxpayers and the needs of the developer. Both he and Hart said the feasibility study is being done in order to protect the interests of the taxpayers.

“Economic development is important to the town,” Rusinski said. “This project is a good thing.”

The Town Board Minutes of October 17, 2013 reflect that Supervisor Meegan made a motion, seconded by Rusinski, to authorize Meegan “to execute an agreement with Camoin Associates to conduct an economic and fiscal analysis for the Seneca Mall site.” 

On the question, Councilman Rusinski stated he agrees with the study but expressed concern about the verbage. He referred to a previously passed resolution which states the dollar amount is not to exceed $30,000, yet an attachment in the agreement shows a fixed fee of $25,000.

Town Engineer Richard Henry responded this was his mistake. The fixed fee language will be removed and the agreement will be amended to read “not to exceed.”
 
Councilman Hart stated he has numerous concerns and commented if this project were to go forward it will be considered huge and impact all of Western New York, yet they do not have a lot of information about the developer. He did not feel they had enough information to go forward at this time and questioned spending $25,000 when there are so many unanswered questions such as infrastructure and sewage.
 
Mr. Henry responded he has spoken with Camoin and they are aware they have to have more information from the developer in order to go forward. Upon approval, Camoin will present the developer with a list of questions. Mr. Henry stated the purpose of the study is to assess the fiscal impacts to get the answers so they can go forward.
 
Councilman Hart suggested the developer provide the town with $25,000 and the town will spend it on their behalf and do the study.
 
Town Attorney Shawn Martin responded the developer should not pay for a study that the town is requesting.
 
Supervisor Meegan stated they will be finding out what the potential is for the town’s investment and whether or not the investment will have a return for taxpayers. She commented that the town has an opportunity to do something and they cannot continue to let the site sit there as it has for so many years. The developer is asking for assistance to pursue a Seneca Place project of 3 million square feet of mixed use buildings, community center, retail, residential, office, hotels, parking, etc. Supervisor Meegan stated this project will not go forward at risk to the Town of West Seneca taxpayers.
 
Councilman Rusinski stated that West Seneca is screaming for economic development and the town has made the mistake of being too idle in the past.  The analysis will provide insight as to whether this type of development has economic potential for West Seneca. He did not feel any board member would put taxpayers at risk.
 
Councilman Hart stated there doesn’t seem to be any involvement by the IDA’s or the development corporation of New York State and he feels there should be more substance with regard to the developer’s marketing and business plan. Councilman Hart questioned how soon information will be provided to the board members and if the recommendations and numbers will be made public at that time.
 
Mr. Henry responded they have a total of 60 days; 30 days to gather the information and another 30 days to compile the information and report back to the town.
 
Mr. Martin stated if the report has an exception with regard to acquiring property or contract negotiations involving costs, information will not be made public.  He will have to see the report before he can make a determination as to whether or not the information provided will be made public at that time.
 
Councilman Hart stated he is ready to discuss the entire project with the public so they are fully aware of what the proposal is. He would like to see the Seneca Mall property developed and is willing to look for his own developer and take the property by eminent domain to acquire a reasonable project.
The motion carried unanimously. Lorigo’s involvement, at minimum, has to do with the fact that his office is located at the Seneca Mall parcel. Why did this come up last summer? Because of what I called the AwfulPAC; the now-defunct “WNY Progressive Caucus” was the Steve Pigeon / Frank Max / Kristy Mazurek effort to disrupt the Democratic Party and defeat certain of its county-level candidates.
 
AwfulPAC benefited from a huge cash injection from nominal Democrat and pro-life-oh-wait-pro-choice Tim Kennedy. But at the time, a singular donation of $25,000 from the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3 was quite puzzling, and no one reported on it. 
 
 
No one understood why it was made, and it’s glaringly odd because a $25,000 donation would have practically emptied the union’s account. The image above is taken from Mazurek’s AwfulPAC 11-day pre-primary filing. By contrast, this is what the Bricklayer’s union’s disclosure shows on its 11-day pre-primary filing: 
 
 
We’re meant to believe that a union with only $28,000 on hand is emptying its account to fund the AwfulPAC? Indeed, a scan of this union local’s intake and outflow shows modest amounts – a few thousand coming in, a few hundred going out. It reports $5,000 to current Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren in its 11-day pre-General. It gave Sean Ryan $500 bucks. Its July 2013 report shows a little over $1,000 to Tim Kennedy, but at no time did the BAC Local 3 report $25,000 to the “WNY Progressive Caucus”, and such an outflow appears on no disclosure report whatsoever
 
So, what’s going on? 
 
 
 
As Pigeon and Mazurek hyperventilate over allegations of supposed petition-destruction – something that despite years and years of open and obvious, internecine Democratic warfare has never happened before – let’s not let them off the hook for their own, more glaring and apparent sloppy campaign finance irregularities. 
 
New York State Democrats’ inability to get out of their own damn way is neither novel nor unique. Witness the spectacle just this week,  as a liberal gubernatorial challenger, Zephyr Teachout, is holding anti-Cuomo press conferences with right-wing Putin lookalike winner Rob Astorino. Hell no.
 
You want to make a point about the shutting down of the Moreland Commission? Do it. You want to call out the governor with his Republican challenger standing next to you? You just lost me. 
 
Here in Erie County, Nick Langworthy has the easiest  job in the world. He doesn’t need to do a thing when he has an endless parade of job-hungry nominal Democrats around to repeatedly sabotage whatever the county committee tries to do. 

All in the (Howard) Family

Sheriff Tim Howard has hired his wife to be on “Scientific Staff Reserve”. I have feelers out to see what background she has in law enforcement, and whether Howard created the position for her, or if she filled an existing one. 

Via Facebook


Via Facebook

 


County Leg: Making it Rain

The County Legislature bipartisanly took the bold step of literally just wildly throwing money – $5 million of it – at the beleaguered road network. Surely our roads are in need of repair, thanks to a brutal and relentless winter, but is it too much to ask Republican legislators to actually set up a plan, or maybe name some priorities, before they shame everyone to spend money so prospective opponents can’t label them as anti-road? 

Seriously. This kind of spending is typically what Republicans criticize Democrats for.  But it’s ok if it’s roads, because almost all county roads are in the suburban districts. 

We need to review the county road network, which grew without control under the old Board of Supervisors, and determine what roads should be maintained by the regional government, and which should revert to local control. 




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