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Investigative Post

Council lost, activists take redistricting rudder

Gerrymandered redistricting plan met fierce community opposition last week. While organizers continue to hone a plan they say is more equitable and logical, Council members have retreated into silence. ​​Last week Our City Action Buffalo — an organization of good government activists — scored two quick victories in a battle...
BUFFALO, NY
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City Hall transgressions cost taxpayers

A normal day at the office for Buffalo's Common Council: spending big money to settle claims of miscues — and worse — by city employees. The tab Tuesday was over $500,000. On Wednesday, the Buffalo Common Council approved $510,000 in payments to settle nine personal injury claims filed against the city.
BUFFALO, NY
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Council catches hell on redistricting plan

Status quo proposal that protects incumbents unanimously criticized by scores of speakers at public hearing. The first public hearing on a redistricting plan for Buffalo’s Common Council attracted just two members of the public. Only one spoke. Tuesday night’s public hearing was another story. More than 100 people...
BUFFALO, NY

Monday Morning Read

Jim Heaney's favorite news stories from last week include a WBFO series on the radical right in WNY. Here’s what caught Jim Heaney’s eye last week. You can get the earl scoop by subscribing to his free Sunday newsletter. Tom Dinki of WBFO had a terrific series of...
POLITICS

Buffalo’s gerrymandered Council districts

Politicians picked their constituents the last time lines were drawn. It's happening again. Activists and good government types are mobilizing. A coalition of activists and good government groups is urging Buffalo’s Common Council to reject a redistricting plan that has been moving quickly and quietly toward approval. And they’ve...
BUFFALO, NY

Hochul’s lack of due diligence on expressway

The governor has earmarked $1 billion to cover a portion of the Kensington Expressway without obtaining updated cost estimates or assessing the environmental impact. Where will all those trapped fumes go?. Gov. Kathy Hochul has committed $1 billion to cover a portion of the Kensington Expressway without benefit of any...
BUFFALO, NY

No action on stadium benefits agreement

There's been talk, but little movement to negotiate a community benefits agreement tied to the new Buffalo Bills venue. Leverage has been lost and time is running out. In January, good-government activists and elected officials said there should be no public subsidies for a new Buffalo Bills stadium without a community benefits agreement.
ERIE COUNTY, NY

Monday Morning Read

Bills QB Josh Allen makes an average of $43 million a season. Does he really need to be doing business with gamblers?. Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter, an excerpt from which you’ll find below. Reinvent Albany has a good rundown of the good and bad of the session’s...
BUFFALO, NY

Woman sues over cop’s c-word insult

Lt. Michael DeLong's choice of words was the last in a long line of cringe-worthy acts. Not that he's alone in acting in ways that cost the city money. A year after he left the force, former Buffalo Police Lieutenant Michael DeLong keeps costing taxpayers money. DeLong retired last March,...
BUFFALO, NY

OTB reform bills stall in state Legislature

Measures to address abuses failed to gain passage during this year's session, which concluded Saturday. After state auditors criticized the handling of public funds and resources at Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., a pair of Democratic state lawmakers sponsored legislation in hopes of changing the way the public benefit corporation operates.
BUFFALO, NY

Barton retires as principal following settlement

McKinley High School principal has left the district after being offered her job back following a five-year legal battle. Crystal Barton has retired from Buffalo schools, less than a month after the Board of Education approved a settlement ending their long and costly efforts to fire the veteran administrator. Barton...
BUFFALO, NY

Only 2 of 6 school board seats contested

Board of Education seats in Buffalo find few takers among prospective candidates. Only two of six district seats will be contested in this year’s elections for the Buffalo Board of Education. And they aren’t the two left open by exiting members Louis Petrucci and Hope Jay, the current Park and North district representatives.
BUFFALO, NY

Heaney to lecture at Chautauqua

Investigative Post Editor Jim Heaney is teaching a three-day class on the media next month at the Chautauqua Institution. Here’s the synopsis for Heaney’s class, entitled The Media In Crisis: Causes and Consequences:. Journalism is in crisis, and with it, democracy. We’ll examine the economic, social, political and...
BUFFALO, NY

OTB tries to stifle a critic

Lawyers for the Western Regional OTB have sent a threatening letter to the author of critical pieces about the agency. The writer is having none of it. Jim Shultz has gotten under the skin of Henry Wojtaszek, president and CEO of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. Wojtaszek ostensibly works...
LOCKPORT, NY

Monday Morning Read

The GOP will tolerate no deviation on gun control: Witness the rapid rejection of Chris Jacobs. Jim Heaney shares his recommended reading from the previous week, which is also delivered Sunday mornings via his WeeklyPost newsletter. You can subscribe for free here. That didn’t take long. Just days after Congressman...
BUFFALO, NY

OTB paying for an army of lawyers, lobbyists

OTB's bills for lawyers and lobbyists continue to climb, with attorney fees running as high as $450 an hour. That's money that otherwise would be distributed to local governments. Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. continues to spend big bucks – large amounts of public money, that is – on attorneys...
BUFFALO, NY

Defense attorneys to DA: Zip it

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn has a reputation for saying more than he should about pending criminal cases — which may be why attorneys for the accused Tops shooter have asked a judge to put a gag order on him. Last week the three court-appointed defense attorneys for...
ERIE COUNTY, NY

Buffalo superintendent’s mixed track record

Tonja Williams has strong people skills and knowledge of the district. But her lack of teaching experience and lackluster tenure as a principal raises questions about her ability to lead a district in dire need of change. Tonja Williams has some things going for her as she seeks the permanent...
BUFFALO, NY

Gains by the right in school board elections

Layne Dowdall discusses election victories by school board candidates backed by the right on WGRZ's Town Hall. Michael Wooten interviewed Layne Dowdall on her recent story about candidates elected to local school boards who were endorsed by right wing organizations. In the interview, which aired on Tuesday on WGRZ’s Town...
WILLIAMSVILLE, NY

Monday Morning Read (Tuesday edition)

Recommended reading includes a Buffalo News story on racism in WNY and Margaret Sullivan's reflections on the upcoming 50th anniversary of Watergate. This week’s post includes stories of interest from Sunday and Monday, to cover the holiday weekend. You can receive the entire WeeklyPost newsletter, which also includes a summary of our best reporting from the previous week, by subscribing here.
BUFFALO, NY