After reading how Mayor Byron Brown "awarded" himself an "A" for performance, I was reminded of the classic movie, "A Christmas Story," where little Ralphie assumes he'll receive an "A" on an essay he writes about his dream air rifle. However, after reality sets in and he gets a meager "C ," Ralphie is reminded of the dangers of the toy. Perhaps our mayor can learn a lesson or two from this tale.
Brown, highlighting his initiatives and development agendas, seemed to ignore the 800-pound gorilla named "violent crime" standing behind him. Buffalo's violent crime has risen 30 percent. In 1990, New York City was nicknamed the Rotten Apple, and for good reason -- criminals owned the streets. Subsequent mayors made drastic changes in policing strategies and implemented tougher sentencing laws and correctional reforms, which ultimately cut crime in half. In 2006, New York City reported 579 murders in a city of 8 million people.
That's the type of success you can hang your hat on as a mayor. What good will Brown's agendas and developments do if people don't feel safe coming into the city? Furthermore, if armed and trained police officers are getting shot at, how safe can the average citizen possibly feel? This year, Brown needs to implement a new set of priorities before he gives himself an "A ."