Re-elect the mayor
A sizable group of us Buffalonians would like to draw public attention to the need to re-elect our Mayor James Griffin again. He is well qualified, a man of integrity and great stability, and he makes wise decisions.
There is excellence in his leadership and in what he has done for our city of Buffalo. Having the right people in mangement and the right goals, with enthusiasm, leads to accomplishment, and Mayor Griffin has done that. He always tries his best to accomplish the most at the least cost to the taxpayers.
We know what we have, but we don't know what we will get if Mayor Griffin does not get re-elected again.
We need public officials with more dedication to their work and more concern for the welfare of the people that they represent. Mayor Griffin fits that description. So does Alfreda Slominski, another great public servant and a woman of integrity and sound judgment.
A poor 12 years
Considering the lack of debate, not to mention the articulation of a platform, by any of the mayoral candidates, I suggest we have our own.
Issue No. 1: I believe the city has spent too much of our tax money on rebuilding downtown and not enough on neighborhoods. Further, the city did not require those developers building downtown from the private sector to use enough of their own capital. The city, while not having capital requirements, also gave away the land and tax abatements for decades.
Issue No. 2: I have read on these pages in the last few weeks writers applauding Griffin on not raising taxes. Well, I have news for you. The city had better raise taxes -- and soon. Otherwise the future or quality of life for you and your children in this city in terms of what really is important -- education, for instance -- is going to be in jeopardy. The city is on welfare, receiving millions from the state and federal government. This is not going to continue forever. As a matter of fact, if it were not for the state changing its formula for pension payments, the city would have suffered a huge deficit. Note: Griffin is going to tender bonds to address the Hurd problem, using the millions set aside for this purpose for current budget allocations. Who do you think is going to pay this debt and interest? Your children.
Issue No. 3: The Police Department is having severe morale and ethical problems. The main reason for the current chaos within the department is the fact Griffin has made these men and women, who put their lives on the line every day for us, part of his political apparatus. We must depoliticize this extremely important part of our city. We must require high standards of conduct and professionalism from our officers, and we start by taking politics out of the department and allow salary and promotion to be based on merit.
Issue No. 4: We spend less on education per pupil than almost any other city in the country of equivalent size. Yet, thanks only to the dedication of people like Eugene Reville, our city is recognized nationwide as a model for other districts throughout the country. Yet the Griffin administration has kept our School Board in court for most of the last decade. Education juxtaposed to urban development is the most important role of city government. Griffin has raised obstacles since he has been in office having to do with the issue of quality education. I submit the city should have a separate dedicated tax for the education of our youth.
Issue No. 5: Fairness and ethics should be the hallmark and the rallying cry of the next administration moving into the '90s. We set the moral agenda for our children into the next decade. There is no question in my mind the Griffin administration is racist. Accessibility to the mayor's office and city services is marginal at best if you are a person of color or not quite the right ethnic origin. This behavior must end.
Well, I welcome rebuttals, and who knows? Maybe even one of the so-called candidates will jump into the debate, finally!
JOSEPH J. ILLUZZI