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Late Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson said,
"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009


At the last January 7th board meeting in which Mr. Bishop was absent from, the Mayor recused herself from the agenda item regarding the modification of a city ordinance that causes the City Treasurer and City Clerk to, in general, get a raise every time raises are given to the town’s laborers. The Mayor removed herself because of the conflict of interest regarding this issue and the fact that it affects her mother-in-law the City Treasurer. Because of this, the board no longer had a quorum and thus couldn’t address the issue at that time. That is exactly how that situation should have transpired.

The goal is to remove the stupid language of the ordinance prior to the filing period of the City Treasurer’s office this election period. Apparently this move is meeting resistance from the Clerk and Treasurer’s office. It was requested at the last meeting for this to be on the next (January 21st) meeting’s agenda for another attempt to bring this to a vote of the board. The City Clerk left it off this week’s agenda. After all, the more delays there are, the less likely to get any language changed before the filing period in February. An addendum to the agenda had to be posted. This is after persistence from a Town’s Trustee who is elected to address these types of issues, of which the clerk and treasurer cannot vote on. Since they can’t vote, they leave things off and continue to have selective memories. That is the typical underhanded political maneuvering that we have all come to love and expect from the city staff.

Speaking of being selective, that brings me back to the Mayor and her relationship with her elected mother-in-law, the City Treasurer. As mentioned earlier, the Mayor removed herself from the issue and caused a momentary lack of quorum for the meeting. A possible change of the ordinance could have had a negative impact on her mother-in-law’s salary and was unable to proceed. But think back a few weeks earlier when the Mayor chose to continue to participate in the pay raise that affected her mother-in-law the City Treasurer. Since this was a positive impact she continued to participate and influenced the success of the pay raise in which she had a conflict of interest. So the City Mayor remains seated in positive actions for her mother-in-law the City Treasurer and yet the Mayor decides not to participate in the things that have a negative impact on her mother-in-law the City Treasurer.

But is there any surprise here? This is the same “Trustee” that is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the hospital of which is getting a new clinic in City Hall, at the taxpayers expense, due to her participation, guidance, and leadership.

If there is an “appearance” of conflict of interest, is it better to recuse oneself and remove any doubt that may linger? Recusing oneself should be done in its entirety which includes the discussion part of it. Participating and then abstaining on the vote is not the same.

These are the types of things that remind me of what happens to Buffalo when the wind blows from the East …. It stinks!!


  1. Hospital Ladies..... "Hell has no fury like a woman scorned".... please understand in no way should any of this post be construed to be against the remodelling of city hall for professional office space.

  2. Special Meeting Wednesday Jan 21st 6:00pm @ Library.

    As of this time the agenda is not online so here is a "brief summary" of the agenda posted in the windows.

    Reap Grant
    Bill Kropf DEQ
    Entering into voluntary consent order with DEQ
    Repairs to wastewater system
    Myers Engineering contract on lift station
    Mark Luckie, Airport Commission Chairman
    Salary and benifits for new police officer
    Buffalo Code of Ordinance publication
    Purchase order in the amount of $1000.00 to DEQ
    Purchase 16 more 3 yard dumpsters
    Professional office remodeling specifications
    Langston plumbing professional office project
    Appearances from audience and board.

    And on a completly seperate sheet. Ordinance regarding the clerk and treasurer's salary

  3. Whew!
    That was a pretty strong blog post!
    I thought that kind of stuff was for Inside Buffalo Magazine to publish.
    But we're glad you did. You're Making us think!
    Keep up the good work.
    I've been living here all my and I feel more informed than I've ever been.