It seems to us: Council dishonor, the Buffalo Trumps, Lockport’s hot topic and Putin the card - The Buffalo News

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It seems to us: Council dishonor, the Buffalo Trumps, Lockport’s hot topic and Putin the card

It’s a shame when you have to shame someone out of trying to keep the office he dishonored.

Charlie Markel thought he could keep his Cheektowaga Town Council seat despite pleading guilty in State Supreme Court to second-degree offering a false instrument for filing.

The charge involved $7,136 in unemployment benefits that he improperly received after the 2011 closure of the family-owned convenience store where he worked. Markel repaid the money and somehow thought he could remain on the council. And why wouldn’t he think that after so many local, state and national politicians have had brushes with the law and remained in office?

Town officials Thursday gave up their effort to find a way to keep Markel on the council, an effort that continued even after the District Attorney’s Office said the seat was vacated because Markel violated his oath of office.

We already know that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has a thing for Western New York; he can’t seem to stay away. But, apparently, so does one of his well-known nemeses, Donald Trump. First Trump was here flirting with the idea of running for governor (though hardly anyone thought he was serious).

Now – and apparently he is serious – he wants to buy the Buffalo Bills. We don’t know what kind of owner he’d be, though images of George Steinbrenner keep appearing. But with The Donald’s ability to attract attention, including putting his name on virtually everything he owns, imagine the publicity for Buffalo. This could be very cool.

Anyway, better the Bills owner than governor.

Is this a joke? In Lockport the union representing firefighters has filed a grievance over who gets to open the garage doors at the city’s fire stations. We understand about protecting the contract and work rules related to staffing and scheduling and safety and so on, but, come on.

The city put garage door openers in fire vehicles, but the firefighters say the job of opening and closing the doors belongs to the police dispatchers, who took over the duty from firefighters in 2010. So there’s a fight.

Well done, guys. Great way to poison the public against you.

Here’s one thing to know about Russian President Vladimir Putin, as revealed in his response to Eric Snowden’s question Thursday about whether Russia spies on its own people: He was able to keep a straight face.

Snowden, now a guest of Russia after leaking sensitive U.S. documents, asked Putin if Russia monitors communications among its citizens. Basically, Putin said, Russia does only what the law allows and, anyway, it doesn’t have the technical or financial capabilities of the United States.

He must be a wicked poker player.

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