Articles for Geoff Kelly

Jun 19

2019

Lynne Dixon’s misleading push poll

If you follow local politics, and bless your heart if you do, you might have heard about a poll showing incumbent Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz in a statistical tie with his challenger, Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon. The top-line conclusion of the poll, which was commissioned by Dixon’s campaign: Of the 1,325 respondents, 42 percent said they’d vote for Poloncarz if the election were held today; 40 percent said they’d vote for Dixon; and 18 percent said they were undecided. The margin of error is listed as 3.5 percent — thus, a statistical tie. The race might be that[...]

Posted 3 years ago

Jun 6

2019

Buffalo comptroller flip flops

 On Tuesday morning, the Buffalo Common Council’s Legislation Committee expected a visit from interim Comptroller Barbara Miller-Williams. Miller-Williams had been invited to explain why she had issued a second, amended evaluation of Mayor Byron Brown’s proposed budget for the fiscal year 2019-2020. She didn’t show on Tuesday morning. Instead, Miller-Williams sent a deputy and her special assistant — newly hired out of the mayor’s budget office — to tell the committee that she had decided, upon further review, to withdraw the second budget response and go with the first one. You can read about the first report here and here, and[...]

Posted 3 years ago

May 30

2019

Troubling signs from Buffalo’s comptroller

Well, she went ahead and did it. There was no good reason to do it, but she did it anyway. Interim Buffalo Comptroller Barbara Miller-Williams has issued an amendment to her own office’s critical assessment of Mayor Byron Brown’s projected 2019-2020 budget. The initial comptroller’s response was released on May 10, the deadline for the comptroller’s office to issue its response to the mayor’s annual budget proposal, according to the city charter. This new, amended response is dated May 15 and wasn’t submitted to the Common Council until a week after that — too late to count. But let that[...]

Posted 3 years ago

May 20

2019

City Hall’s looming fiscal reckoning

A malfunctioning fire alarm rang shrill and unrelenting on the 13th floor of City Hall last Thursday morning, contributing to an hour-and-a-half delay of the Common Council’s special session to adopt its amendments to Mayor Byron Brown’s proposed 2019-2020 budget. Maybe the universe was trying to tell the Common Council something about that budget. If it was, they weren’t listening. Once it began, the meeting took about 10 minutes. The result: The Council moved some money around various budget lines in order to fund projects and purchases dear to each member’s heart, but left Brown’s budget essentially intact. This, despite[...]

Posted 3 years ago

May 14

2019

Kelly discusses Buffalo’s risky budget on WBFO

Geoff Kelly’s current “PoliticalPost” blog details the risky assumptions Mayor Byron Brown has built into his proposed city budget. Kelly discussed those concerns on WBFO’s Press Pass.  

Posted 3 years ago

May 10

2019

Mayor Brown’s risky budget assumptions

There is little fat in Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s proposed 2019-2020 budget, as befits a city where, despite aspirational talk of a renaissance, population is stagnant and job growth and real wages trail national averages. However, that word aspirational also applies to some projected revenue streams on which Brown’s budget relies. Other words and phrases come to mind, too, such as tentative, maybe, never going to happen, and zombie. Below is a quick look at some of those revenue projections, totaling about $20 million of the $508 million budget. (Today, the office of  interim City Comptroller Barbara Miller Williams released its[...]

Posted 3 years ago

Apr 30

2019

A bad week for female candidates in Buffalo

State Supreme Court Judge Tracey Bannister on Monday expressed “some regret” in upholding the disqualification of three candidates for Buffalo Common Council, based on what she called a “material” and “substantive” defect in the form of their nominating petitions.   Indeed, there is much to regret in this imbroglio, from its beginning to its conclusion. The case now moves to the 4th Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court. “I’ve done what you’ve done and I know it’s hard,” Bannister told the three women — Melanie McMahan, Bernice Radle and Antoinette Craig — who were knocked from the June 25[...]

Posted 3 years ago

Apr 24

2019

Zellner’s conflict of interest

When Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner got himself appointed the Democratic commissioner to the Erie County Board of Elections in 2015, many protested that he was willingly courting potential conflicts of interest. Four annual election cycles later, those potential conflicts have become quite real and painfully evident. In the first stage of this year’s particularly dynamic political season, five women candidates for Buffalo Common Council presented themselves as a slate. They published photos of themselves together. They took training, advice and material support from the same consultants. They turned in their nominating petitions together. Though each had her[...]

Posted 3 years ago