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STOP TOSSING CITY FUNDS AT RISKY VENTURES

The Buffalo News reported on Aug. 18 that within hours of the closing of the Breckenridge Brew Pub, the city received three calls from prospective buyers. In case you are not familiar with the background of this venture, let me fill you in on the whole sordid mess.

The Masiello and Griffin administrations, in an effort to bring back Buffalo's downtown, have pumped millions of taxpayer dollars into downtown real estate: The Hyatt Regency Hotel, with more dollars when Paul Snyder whined that his profits were low; the former Hengerers department store; an apartment building at Main and Chippewa and the rebuilding of the beautiful Market Arcade.

It didn't end there because the Masiello administration also loaned hundreds of thousands of dollars to this brew pub in order to get them started.

Now, you might ask why private banks, which are in the business of loaning start-up money, didn't provide the financing on all of these ventures. The answer is simple: they wouldn't touch them with a ten-foot pole. Too risky. But not for Jimmy or Tony, as long as they were playing with our tax money.

Nobody wants downtown to come back more than I do. I fondly remember the 40s and 50s when we had over five major downtown theaters, many department stores and great restaurants on every corner.

Will it ever come back? Who knows? But let's rein in this flood of taxpayer money.

Let's get banks and businessmen involved in downtown decisions and ask them to reach in their pockets for ventures they recommend.

If they run for the door at that point, that should tell the Masiello venture capitalists who operate with our money to also run for the door.

Cheryl C. Mosher Orchard Park

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