In the event that the Erie County Legislators continue voting to provide public monies to in any way subsidize a contract with the Buffalo Bills' organization, they will abrogate and dishonor the oath of office they will take in January 1998. That oath is: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the constitution of the United States, and of the State of New York, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of, (giving title of office) according to the best of my ability."
What they take oath to uphold is: "No county, city, town, village or school district shall give or loan any money or property to or in aid of any individual, or private corporation or association, or private undertaking." Similarly barred is gift or loan of credit of municipalities. Article VIII, Section 1.
Those few words of print are part of the citizens' defense against Malfeasance, defined as, "The performance by a public official of an act that is legally unjustified, harmful, or contrary to law, especially in violation of public trust."
In legend, Robin Hood robbed the rich and gave to the poor. Here we do it the other way around. The other part of the citizen defense against frauds of officialdom is the willingness of the press/media to alert citizens as to what is proper and what is not. The words quoted above are purposely kept from public knowledge by government. Freedom of the press is of little use if the press neglects the peoples' right and need to know.
JOHN J. BELLMAN
Concerned Citizens Coalition