At the first Lockport Common Council meeting this month, Alderman Joseph C. Kibler had something to say.
"I'd like to thank Alderman (David E.) Blackley for not bringing his whole crew over to my house for Halloween. It saved me quite a bit of money," Kibler said.
Blackley, the father of six at last count, replied, "Joe, anything I can do for a senior citizen, I will do."
Fuel to the fire
Lockport City Clerk and Budget Director Richard P. Mullaney has had his run-ins with city firefighters at the bargaining table over the years.
At a recent Council work session, Mullaney said he had walked that day through the Main Street construction zone from City Hall to the YMCA.
He joked, "I nearly got run over a couple of times. It's a good thing those firemen and policemen didn't recognize me, or I wouldn't be sitting here."
What was that old Oscar Wilde line about a cynic being a person who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing?
Check this exchange last week on whether to fund the Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime program. It offers drug treatment to felons who otherwise would be sent to jail.
Sheriff Thomas A. Beilein said it costs about $60 to house each inmate per day in the County Jail -- at which Legislator Lee Simonson, R-Lewiston, knowing the county collects $75 in federal money for housing federal prisoners daily who await transfer, made this statement in support of the drug treatment program:
"It's to our benefit to keep people out of jail so we can fill the cells with federal prisoners."
Beilein demurred. "Economically, it's to our benefit," he said. "I don't know if it's to our benefit public safety-wise."
Working on it
There was something different about county Manager Gregory D. Lewis' style during a committee meeting Tuesday.
"You might notice I'm talking slower," Lewis told the legislators. "That's because Sandy (Sandra Sherman, his administrative assistant) told me I talk too fast and people can't understand me. That's what the court reporters used to say, that I was the fastest-talking attorney they ever had. That might be a derogatory term, 'a fast-talking attorney,' but I'm trying to slow down."
Directions spelled defeat
Resounding defeat was the outcome of a Lewiston Library plan to establish a special district library this past week. The idea of creating a special district and a new layer of taxes for residents was not a popular theme.
For Library Board members and staff who supported the plan, the outcome at the end of the day was not a surprise. The turnout was heavy, which did not bode well for a positive vote.
And forget exit polls. Phone calls throughout the day told the story. One staff member said she had received a lot of calls from people who wanted to vote but had an important question first:
"Where's the library?"
It's not much of a stretch to guess which way those people voted.
Contributions from Thomas J. Prohaska and Nancy A. Fischer of The News Niagara Bureau.