In preparation for Friday, when Mayor Brown gives his 2016 State of the City speech, I took a little time Tuesday to check out Brown's 2015 State of the City speech's "will do" list:
*Squaw Island would be renamed Unity Island. It was. Check.
*The city would kick off a "34 or more" recycling awareness program. It did. Check, although the goal - a 34 percent recycling rate - has yet to be met.
*Property taxes would be frozen. They were. Check.
*The AMC Theater would open in the Market Arcade. The deal's done, but construction work hasn't started, so it's not yet open. So half a check (This is a corrected item. It initially stated - mistakenly - that the movie theater is open.)
Brown would begin a public dialogue on the importance of diversity and equity in the workplace through his Opportunity Pledge and creation of a Racial Equity Roundtable. Both those things happened, so check, check. But as with the recycling rate, the goal of a citywide workforce - in all sectors of the local economy - reflecting Buffalo's diversity has a way to go.
Turns out Tim Sick didn't give up on his plan to build a house on the small corner lot he bought on Linwood Ave.
He's back with a new plan, this time for a two-family town house, rather than the single-family house he proposed on three separate occasions over the past year.
And while Sick planned to live in the single-family houses he previously proposed, this two-family townhouse wouldn't be for him, I'm told.
Presidential Straw Poll
The City Hallways presidential straw poll continues all week. Please vote if you haven't already. You can cast a vote in the Democratic and/or Republican races, but please, only one ballot per person. I know Democrat Martin O'Malley and Republican Mike Huckabee dropped out after the Ohio caucuses, but we're keeping them on our ballot since they were running when our poll started. Results will be posted Monday.
A proud moment
It's not unusual for Common Council members to heap praise on each other, but Tuesday was the first time I've ever seen the group offering a standing ovation to one of its members.
It happened when Lovejoy Councilman Rich Fontana spent a few minutes at the end of the Council meeting recognizing efforts last week by the Council President, Darius Pridgen, who, as pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church, organized the community to donate water, which Pridgen then, with help from Bob Rich III, trucked out to Flint, Michigan, and distributed to residents. As photos of the effort to bring the 200,000 bottles of water to Flint were projected on a screen in the Council Chambers, Fontana and the other seven council members stood up as Pridgen sat in the Council President's chair in the front of the room.
Pridgen downplayed his role in the water donation, saying that Buffalo is a city of good neighborhoods that quickly came through when asked to donate water for the people of Flint. To which Fontana responded: "You were the quarterback."
In today's Buffalo News and on buffalonews.com, I have short piece on the Common Council 's concerns with some neighborhood groceries and delis. My colleague, Barbara O'Brien, has a piece on the Deep South Taco community meeting in North Buffalo.