Back story on this week's City Hallways photo is kind of fitting given that it involves Demone Smith, top center, the Masten councilman who resigned last week to take a much better paying job as head of the city's Employment & Training Center. I was standing outside the Council Chambers taking this photo before a recent council meeting when Smith noticed, and came over to me. I know why you are taking that picture, he told me. "All men, right?" he said. "Yup," I replied. All-male counsel. I think it's the first time I can recall when the council didn't have a woman on it. Going back, I remember Rosemarie Lotempio. Then Beverly Gray, and more recently Bonnie Russell, who stepped down in January 2014. I stopped by Councilman Dave Franczyk's office after taking this photo to ask him about it. Franczyk's been on the council almost 30 years now, and before that, his father was in City Hall, so the Fillmore councilman has lots of institutional memory here. Franczyk reminded me of other female council members -- Betty Jean Grant and Bonnie Lockwood among them, and going back further, Alfreda Slominski, who went on to become the highly respected Erie County comptroller.
There'a a "Splish Splash Summer Bash" from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today at the MLK Park splash pad. It's billed as a kick-off to summer. Plenty of fun activities, as well as healthy eating. Blue Cross/Blue Shield is among the sponsors as are the City of Buffalo and the Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
Money Matters - Council Presidenet Darius Pridgen, Ellicott District.
Our look at campaign finance continues today with with Pridgen, who raised $66,565 and spent $41,828 from 2010 through the end of December 2014, according to campaign spending reports.
Here's his biggest contributors, those donating more than $1,000:
Linda Goodman, $7,500
Brian K Lewis, $3,500
Kenneth Peterson, $2,250
Mark R. Storch, $1,500
RE Baines, $1,200
Norstar Development USA. $1,100
Here's his biggest expenses, those over $1,000:
Grafitt, Grapfix & Signs, Cheektowaga, $4,274
Print Plus, Buffalo, $3,801
WBLK Radio, $2,365
Buffalo Challenger, $1,839
WPG Wallace Photographics, $1,976
Best Buy, Amherst , office supplies - $1,546
The Church store, True Bethel Baptist, campaign t-shirts, $1,325
DERS, Cheektowaga, printing, $1.200
There's a request for the Common Council to approve a used car lot at 227 Paderewski. Just an observation: there seems to be a lot of requests lately by people wanting to open used car lots in the city.
It's your day
Byron Brown issues lots of proclamations, often declaring a day in someone's honor. Last Friday was Roy and Clara Thomas Day. The Thomas's are the long-time owners of Cold Spring taxi on Northampton Street, which is celebrating its 30th year in business. That's the reason for the proclamation, which mentions the successful business as well as the couple's dedication to their family and church. And the proclamation, of course, declared June 26, 2015 as Roy and Clara Thomas Day.
People like having a day named after them, Brown told me.
And I'd say he's right.
I remember when Mayor Brown proclaimed April 23 Adam Zyglis Day after the Buffalo News cartoonist won a Pulitizer Prize.
"What does one do?" on your own day, a clearly intrigued Zyglis asked at one point later that day
Hard to say, but I did notice that one of Zyglis's cousins posted on Facebook that he plans to make Adam Zyglis Day an annual thing.
"It's my cousin's day!" he posted. "I can't wait to celebrate this every year! "
Roy and Clara Thomas can do the same. But on their own day, of course, not Zyglis's.
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