Here's the back story that goes with this week's picture.
I've lived in Buffalo for about 30 years now, but had never gone up to the City Hall observation tower until last week.
I took the elevator up to the 26th floor, then walked up two flights in the narrow stairwells and hallways to the 28th floor observation tower.
This mural was painted in the stairwell hallway.
As an aside, the view from the 28th floor was really amazing.
Also amazing, to me, at least, was the young woman who arrived on the observation deck a few minutes after I got there. She was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, sweating, and taking deep, measured breaths.
"Did you walk up the 28 flights," I asked.
Like I said, also pretty amazing.
Council meets today. As always, lots of stuff on the agenda, but I won't know til they meet what they'll pass and what they'll send to committee. Items on the agenda include the Rural Metro contract.
Mayor Brown is having morning press conference to detail improvements at Erie Basin Marina, including new dining space at The Hatch.
Computer geeks are people too -- and they like animals
I got a quick tour of the city's 12th floor MIS office the other day. That's where all the City Hall computer geeks work with programs and data and stuff. There were obviously lots of computers, and such up there. But there, on a desk in the boss's office, was a big plastic bucket filled with lots of dog treats. Dog leashes. Dog toys. Dog bones. What's that got to do with City Hall computer programs? Nothing.
But here's the story. The individual departments in City Hall earlier this year donated items for baskets raffled off to benefit the United Way. The 26-employee Management Information System office really enjoyed putting their baskets together (One had a St. Paddy's theme, the other a Fun Day theme.) So the MIS workers decided they wanted to continue making basket donations to needy causes. They are picking four a year. This first donation goes to the city Animal Shelter. "It's something non-technical that we like to do," said Ken Barnes, the city's chief tekkie. "And," he added,"Who doesn't like puppies?"
By the Numbers
Partly because I'm a bit of a numbers geek myself, and partly because I've been staring at municipal payrolls for a few days now, here's a few things I recently calculated :
Of the 3,474 people who received a total of $195 million in pay from City Hall in 2014, even if for just a day, including full and part time jobs, summer posts or year-round, even if receiving a minimal stipend for sitting on a city board, there are:
. 2, 260 white with cumulative earnings of $137.9 million.
. 742 black, with cumulative earnings of $40.6 million.
. 170 Hispanic with cumulative earnings of $10 million.
. 10 American Indian with cumulative earnings of $393,838
. 5 Asians with cumulative earnings of $ 272,007
. 2537 men with cumulative earnings of $158.5 million
. 890 women with cumulative earnings of $36 million
. About 2,070 workers live in Buffalo zip codes, with cumulative earnings of $100 million
. About 1,410 lives outside the city, with cumulative earnings of $95 million.
Those zip code numbers are approximate because a few zip codes cover both city and suburbs.
Numbers don't all add up to 100 percent because race and gender weren't available for all employees.