The Joe Mascia hearing is over, but the two sides still get to submit final papers once hearing transcripts are completed. The hearing officer isn't expected to announce until early March whether she thinks Mascia should stay or go. Meanwhile, a side issue emerged over the secretly recorded tapes that captured Mascia' s N-word stream. New York State allows conversations to be taped as long as one of the two people involved in the conversation is aware they are being recorded. So the portion of the tape when Mascia uses racist epithets in response to questions by Paul Christopher, the person taping the conversation, is legal. But the tape played during the Mascia hearing included a segment with Mascia talking on the phone with one of his friends, Terry Robinson. Neither Robinson nor Mascia knew Christropher was taping them at the time, raising questions about legality. Don't be surprised if Mascia's attorney, Steve Cohen, follows up on that.
Christopher, by the way, was on the city's list of perspective witnesses for Mascia's hearing, but wasn't called to testify.
THIS WEEK'S POLL - Please vote only once
The Common Council seems determined to have a bigger say when it comes to Buffalo schools, particularly since Ulysees Wingo was elected to the Masten Council seat in November. His wife is a teacher, and he’s a youth minister. He’s taken over the Council's Education Committee. While the committee only met sporadically last year, Wingo has scheduled monthly Education Committee meetings for 2016, starting with one Thursday.
Given that theme, this week's City Hallways poll question is education related. Poll is up all week. Results will be posted Monday.
Keeping tabs on the mayor
Mayor Byron Brown will be among those in Albany Wednesday for Gov. Cuomo's State of the State address. Brown's State of the City speech, by the way, will be in early February.
Neighborhood News - Planning Board
Neighborhood News - Food Store licenses
Small neighborhood groceries continue to crop up around the city. Here's latest food store license requests that still need Common Council approval:
111 Loepere St., Friend's Grocery
3083 Main St.
916 Tonawanda St., Lucy International Spicy Food
1358 Broadway, Broadway Mart & Deli
2082 South Park, Nadeem Mart
Council committee meetings today, starting with Civil Service and Finance in morning, then Community Development and Legislation in afternoon.