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City Hallways (April 7) Some other Jimmy Griffin advice

Former Buffalo Mayor Jimmy Griffin at his campaign headquarters after learning he defeated incumbent council member Mary Martino to win the primary election on 9/9/2003. Photo by Derek Gee

Don't sell, Griffin said

Most remember Jimmy Griffin's advice on how to handle a blizzard: Get a six-pack and stay inside.

Lovejoy Councilman Rich Fontana also remembers the former mayor's advice on duck boats.

"Don't ever sell those things," Fontana recalls Griffin once telling him.

So when Fontana recently learned that the Brown Administration  plans to auction off, or perhaps sell for scrap, the amphibious ice-breaking machinery Griffin was referring to, Fontana put the auction on hold until he could quiz Public Works commissioner Steve Stepniak.

The equipment, Stepniak said, is horribly outdated, not currently in working condition, and difficult to get parts for because of its age. It's also unsafe; when last used, workers got injured,  Stepniak said. "They are made well, but have seen better days," Stepniak said of the equipment.

The city now uses a long-armed excavator to break up ice, and should look into more modern technology, Stepniak said.

The old equipment will be sold for scrap, or auctioned off, whichever makes more sense, said purchasing director Bill Sunderlin.

Fontana seemed OK with the decision, but also said he's never forgotten that Griffin didn't ever want to see them sold.

Winter Throwback

Here's a November to Remember Storm fact I never heard before: Two marked Buffalo police cars were destroyed during that 2014 storm. The city police department reported the loss to FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which recently agreed to reimburse Buffalo for the two cars.  Police are in the process of ordering the replacement vehicles, which I'm guessing will be Dodge Chargers.

Countdown to NY Primary News

Hillary Clinton coming to Buffalo Friday.
Donald Trump coming to Buffalo April 17 - two days before the primary election.

Here's the story in today's Buffalo News on the Trump campaign  and also one on GOP candidate John Kasich.

Calendar Items

Mayor Brown holding press conference this morning on recruitment of multilingual city residents for court interpreter positions.

In today's Buffalo News and on, I have story on city police switching from  Chevy Tahoes to Dodge Chargers

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