Mar 25


Terry Pegula’s assault on Bills fan base

Want to keep your season tickets? It's going to cost you. A lot. That way, the new Bills stadium will cost Pegula little to nothing, Jim Heaney says in today's Monday Morning Read.

Terry Pegula wasn’t satisfied just picking the pockets of state and county taxpayers in demanding they pick up most of the cost of building the Bills a new stadium. He’s now playing “stick ‘em up” with his season ticket holders.

We knew the Bills intended to charge fans for personal seat licenses, which gave them the “right” to buy season tickets (for an additional charge, of course). The team was hush-hush about what it intended to charge, but last week it began to inform fans holding the most expensive seats what it would cost to keep them: Up to $50,000.

Not to worry, though. The Bills will allow you to spread out payments for 10 years, provided you’re willing to pay 10 percent interest.

The pricing suggests that Pegula will put up little of his own fortune to cover the team’s portion of construction costs. Nope, this stadium is going to come out of the hide of taxpayers and fans.

One sage observer emailed me to say: “If, from the beginning, taxpayers and fans were given complete and transparent information the financing package could have been modified to protect the public interest through leverage-based negotiation. There’s only one winner in this game, and that’s the Pegula family. Perhaps fans & taxpayers might agree to place blame for this game losing fumble where it belongs, with the Governor, County Executive & Legislators!”

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Being a bureaucrat in Erie County government pays. First came the oodles of overtime they pocketed during the pandemic. Now, Sandy Tan of the Buffalo News reports that County Executive Mark Poloncarz and the county Legislature last year quietly adopted policies that grant 93 managerial appointees  seven weeks of annual paid vacation. Seven weeks!

The New York Times chronicles Buffalo’s preparation for our upcoming “dark day,” as in the April 8 solar eclipse. It’s all good. Our population for the day could double.

The GOP’s majority in the U.S. House of Representatives is about to dwindle to one. It would have no majority at all if Brian Higgins had stuck around. Nor would the House have had the votes to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Median pay for teachers in the Sweet Home School District was $104,467 last year,  making them the highest paid in Western New York. The Empire Center report found that median teacher pay in 189 out of 685 school districts outside New York City was over $100,000.

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Businesses say there are more important factors than tax breaks they consider when deciding where to locate or expand their operations. Not that they’re not important, according to a survey of corporate executives.

New York Focus has published a primer on the state’s industrial development agencies, which dole out $1 billion a year in tax breaks. Very insightful.

New York has 85 legal pot dispensaries and more than 2,000 illegal ones. Ah, the competency of state government.

LittleSis, the Buffalo-based research nonprofit, released a study last week that documented how many university trustees have ties to the fossil fuel industry. The answer: a lot.

Roe v. Wade may have been overturned, but the number of reported abortions last year was the highest in a decade. Nearly two in three were medicated.

What to know the blueprint if Donald Trump is elected president? It’s spelled out here


Investigative Post

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