Tag: City Hall

Jul 24

2013

Buffalo Housing Court fines: Progress and problems

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City Hall’s belated effort to collect $22 million in unpaid Housing Court fines is coming up empty. A dry run by a collections agency hired by the city earlier this year that sought about $430,000 from deadbeat court defendants yielded only $59 in fine payments, according to City Comptroller Mark Schroeder. That experience prompted city officials to scale back their expectations of what was collectable from the $22 million in unpaid fines that have accumulated since Mayor Byron Brown took office in 2006. Rather than $1 million, Schroeder said administration officials believe only $40,000 to $80,000 is collectable. “In terms[...]

Posted 11 years ago

Jul 17

2013

Brown challenger off to decent fundraising start

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It’s been a foregone conclusion that Mayor Byron Brown would continue to raise oodles of money in pursuit of a third term as mayor. The question has been whether his challengers would be able to raise enough money to mount a serious challenge. Brown’s two challengers – Bernie Tolbert, a Democrat, and Sergio Rodriguez, a Republican – filed their first campaign finance disclosure reports this week, and they provided insight into their viability as candidates. The numbers show Tolbert is well on his way to reaching his goal of raising up to $350,000 before the Sept. 10 Democratic primary. His[...]

Posted 11 years ago

Jun 17

2013

Buffalo misses big savings with food compost

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Some critics of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg say he hasn’t done enough to boost his city’s recycling rate. Similar criticism has been aimed at Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, whose administration has seen some modest success with the green totes rolled out in December 2011 and a recycling coordinator hired last month after a four year vacancy. Neither city has been able to reach the national average rate for recycling of 34 percent. Buffalo’s curbside recycling rate for 2012 was 12.2 percent; New York City’s rate is about 15 percent. Bloomberg isn’t settling for below average. He started a pilot[...]

Posted 11 years ago

Jun 15

2013

Q&A: Mayoral candidate Bernie Tolbert

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Bernie Tolbert is challenging Byron Brown in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary for mayor. Tolbert, 65, is a Buffalo native with an extensive background in law enforcement. He worked as an agent and supervisor with the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1980 to 2001. His assignments included special agent in charge of FBI operations in Buffalo and Philadelphia and several stints at agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. He joined the National Basketball Association in 2002, first and vice president of security and later senior vice president. He retired in 2010. Earlier in his career, Tolbert worked as a teacher and[...]

Posted 11 years ago

May 14

2013

Election law cops shrug shoulders at apparent violation

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The crime – or at least the appearance of one – is out there in plain sight. The intended victim is prepared to testify. But the investigators are nowhere to be found; not even curious, they say. Prosecutors and Board of Election officials agree that state election law prohibits the offering of public employment in exchange for running, or not running, for office. “You’re not supposed to do that,” said Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita. But Sergio Rodriquez, Buffalo’s Republican candidate for mayor, said in a televised interview taped March 18 that unnamed GOP operatives dangled a job offer[...]

Posted 11 years ago

May 1

2013

Housing authority ignores recycling mandate

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By Jeremy Izzio and Dan Telvock The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, the city’s biggest landlord, is ignoring a City Charter requirement that mandates recycling at apartment buildings and other multi-family housing units. As a result, roughly 500 tons of recyclable materials end up in a landfill each year, costing the city both money and an opportunity to improve its anemic recycling rate. There also may be a related out-of-pocket expense to the authority. The authority appears to have engaged a public relations firm to coach officials on how to deal with reporters inquiring about the recycling program. Managers are unwilling[...]

Posted 11 years ago

Apr 25

2013

Demone Smith’s continued defiance

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are among those who have gone on record in favor of tougher enforcement of election laws and other statutes aimed at promoting ethical conduct on the part of public officials. The catalyst to these calls has been two recent high-profile corruption cases that snared New York City politicians. Not that we needed two indictments to know something is rotten in the Empire State. Look no further than the “D” grade the state received on a risk for public corruption report card issued by the Center for Public Integrity. Nor do[...]

Posted 11 years ago

Apr 1

2013

Q&A: Robert Gioia

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Robert Gioia is one of Western New York’s consummate insiders. At present, he holds two key positions, president of the John R. Oishei Foundation, Western New York’s largest philanthropic organization, and chairman of the Erie Harbor Canal Development Corp., responsible for developing Canalside and the Outer Harbor. Gioia’s career has straddled the public and private sector. His family operated the Gioia Macaroni Co. and he was a principal with the Food Group of Strategic Investments and Holdings Inc. from 1992 to 2007. On the government side, he chaired the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority during its construction of the new airport terminal in Cheektowaga[...]

Posted 11 years ago
Investigative Post

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