Back story on this week's photo. This is "In Rem" week, that's when the city auctions off properties it has foreclosed on for nonpayment of taxes and fees. When I was walking on the first-floor of City Hall recently, I spotted pages and pages of addresses posted on the walls, with people checking them out. Turns out it was the addresses on the "In Rem" list. So I thought it would be an appropriate picture for this week. The "In Rem" auction starts tomorrow at the Convention Center. My colleague Emma Sapong wrote a story about it in today's Buffalo News.
Council has caucus this afternoon to discuss items on Tuesday's meeting agenda.
Mayor Brown recognizing "Pro Bono Week" during City Hall event this afternoon with various Bar Association organizations.
If I had $150,000. . . .
Back in May, a group of community organizers was in City Hall, convincing lawmakers to try Participatory Budgeting in Buffalo. The city agreed to set aside $150,000 for the pilot. Since then, the community organizers selected Masten District as the focus of the program. Now, Masten residents will be asked for ideas on how the money should be spent. The first PB Masten meeting is 6 p.m. tonight at the Delavan Grider Center. Future meetings will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 2 at the CAO Masten Resource Center, 6 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Elim Christian Fellowship and 2 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Tri-Main Building. Once an idea list is set, Masten residents get to vote on which projects will be funded. The vote's probably going to be in late March.
The CHS What?
After writing about the City Honors Foundation likely buying that valuable piece of land in front of the school from the Housing Authority, it occurred to me that plenty of folks outside of the CHS community probably don't know what the City Honors Foundation is. As far as I know, City Honors and Olmsted are the only city schools with foundations. They are legally registered nonprofit organizations, started up by City Honors and Olmsted parents, that raise money - usually by having special events during the school year - to supplement funds the schools get from the Board of Education. The foundations use the funds to pay for extras - things like peer tutoring programs, supplemental teacher training, sports training equipment and, in this case, a piece of land. By the way, after that story ran, I heard from the Buffalo Parent Teacher Organization as well as Joe Mascia, the suspended BMHA board member. Both told me they were also early supporters of the sale to the CHS Foundation.
Election update - Delaware Council District
Over the weekend, I got one piece of campaign literature from Democrat Joel Feroleto telling me what he's doing to help the Delaware District, and two more pieces from Republican Peter Rouff blasting Feroleto as a party insider with ties to former Councilman and State Sen. Antoine Thompson. I also got a telephone poll. "If the election was held today, would you vote for Joel Feroleto or Peter Rouff?"
Meanwhile, the Parkside Community Association is sponsoring a Delaware District candidates night from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the St. Mary's School for the Deaf auditorium, 2253 Main St. Anyone wanting to submit a question can do so Wednesday night, or questions can be submitted in advance by emailing the PCA at firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting the PCA's website at parksidebuffalo.org/candidates-2015/.
Countdown: Eight more days til the Nov.3 election.
In today's Buffalo News and buffalonews.com, I have story on Comptroller Schroeder threatening to pull city investments from offending banks that won't help address "zombie homes" in Buffalo.