11/04/2009

Election Post

Posted by MJ

Election time approaches and in this post I will list links to articles pertaining to the individual races. Most of my contact with the city has been through Mayor Tucker (always considerate enough to answer my questions) and I have not had any contact with my alderman. Please feel free to share any experiences with your alderman, what you feel the important topics are or any other comments you may have.

UPADTE (11/4/09) - Winners listed in large font below and LUSJ results article here. Also County Legislature dowsizing wins in a landslide. I'm thinking of creating pages for each alderman (and mayor) where we can track/comment on our interactions with them and their answers (or lack thereof). Would anyone find that useful?

LUSJ Interviews
1st Ward: Pasceri (i) vs Richardson -
2nd Ward: Alexander (i) vs Smith
3rd Ward: McKenzie (i) vs Calhoun
4th Ward: Schrader (i) vs Chapman
5th Ward: Genewick vs. Hughes
At Large: Kibler (i) vs Mullane

Buffalo News Overview 

UPDATE: LUSJ Endorsements

13 comments:

LockportGal said...

The only contact I have had was with Mayor Tucker also. He has been very helpful every time I have contacted him. The only contact Ive ever had with our aldermen in the 5th ward was when someone wanted my vote. It would be nice if they had meetings or went door to door more often.

MJ said...

Things have turned around a bit since I have been here, esp DT. The master plan, while good, needs to be updated and more importantly incorporated into zoning to make sure it happens as the norm instead of the exception (Ulrich City Center).

What I fail to see are the long range planning and tax/assessment structure to get more people investing in the city (esp residential). In an area of depopulation it must be made a "no-brainer" to invest here in the city to prevent the long slide of disinvestment. Houses can be had cheap for better or worse. We have to make it for the better. We have to make it so that long term investment not only happens, but that it is also rewarded (starting with a cheap house helps). Once the system in in place, actively market it. The long term gains for the city tax base will happen.

Lockport has the walk-ability, neighborhood schools, history, canal, combined city/town school district, etc that are very alluring. But they are not enough to overcome the fact that our houses are one of the biggest investments we make in our lives. The easy route is to sacrifice the above to buy a new (newer) build on the outskirts and safely expect a return. Those owners in our older (low-growth) cities take a much larger risk on seeing the same (if any) return. It needs to be minimized.

Get residential investment happening and most of the other issues will correct themselves (businesses, crime, tax revenue, etc).

Rocketboy said...

"Mullane identified herself as member of New York State Union of Teachers, AFL-CIO affiliated, and told Kibler, “negotiate means to discuss. There’s give-and-take on both sides. It shouldn’t have to be a fight. I’d like to try to change that situation ... .”

Kibler responded that thanks to New York state, firefighters unions are lot more powerful than educators’ unions. The city hasn’t won an arbitration case in decades; it’s choking on the pro-union biases of arbitrators, whose rulings are binding, the incumbent said."

Hummm, I wonder who my support will go to in the at large position... Hummm....

Anonymous said...

Re: The Second Ward Battle Ground
When Jack Smith revealed his perception of the situation on our police force, I must admit I can't help but agree with him. I am a female who happens to live in the second ward and must confess that when it comes to situations regarding drug dealing and thugs (which happens to be most prevelant in our ward),I get discouraged when a petite female officer answers the call. Not necessarily because I feel that she's not qualified, but the intimidating factor is just not the same. Sometimes there are as many as 3 working on one shift. My opinion is not an isolated one either. Unfortunately we live in a very politically correct society and such opinions must be kept to ourselves for fear of being considered a jerk.

Anonymous said...

I've been following the 4th Ward race closely and only wish I could vote in that ward. From all I've heard and seen of Andy Chapman, I think he seems to be just what our City Council needs. He has an excellent head on his shoulders and I think can challenge the city to make some positive changes.

Rocketboy said...

And as much as it pains me to vote Democrat (not that Republican is really any better, but I always feel more of a sting with the Dems), I just cannot vote for someone who comes up with this...

"Is it time the city seriously examined the merits of a volunteer fire company as all its neighbors have?

• Calhoun says yes. “The town has more residents and they seem to run just fine. There’s only been six major fires this year, I believe. ... Why don’t we look at another way of doing it?”"

Sure, and you want to know how many major fires there would be if we didn't have the great response time that a full-time department supplies?

And you don't set out to stop doing something because you "believe" that you are right. Either we had 6 "major" fires, or we didn't.

Damn, I'm voting to incumbents. At least I can vote to downsize the County Legislature.

MJ said...

1) nice thing about spaced out houses (town) is that fire does not spread as easy. An old city needs a professional fire dept. But it also needs one organized into the most efficient platoons and have reasonable work rules (no more 1/3 of the platoon allowed to take off on the same night.) There are other ideas too like the one I offered of reduced pay for someone to be on call during a short staffed platoon.

2) I am for the rezoning of S. Transit but simultaneously design standards must be implemented (coding for structures sited and built like Ulrich City Center etc). People are afraid that more crap like Autozone, Rite-Aid at high St, Gas Stations etc will be built killing the character of the street and giving everything away to cars. That will hurt housing prices. Give them good buildings and site plans and they wouldn't be so NIMBY. Look no further than Elmwood Ave in Buffalo to see the vitality, growth and investment proper urban design guidelines foster.

Anonymous said...

Rocketboy- please think twice when voting for the incumbent. The fire department takes up a major chunk of our taxes. I think it would be great looking into alternatives. North Tonawanda has both volunteer and paid fire fighters and it is working well for them. Steve Calhoun is a very bright, sensible, individual- just what our city needs to change current midsets on our council.

Rocketboy said...

Sorry. If my house burns to the foundation, the last think I'd be worried about is how much in taxes I saved.

My grandparents house would have burned to the ground many many years ago when they had a back porch fire if the response time was as slow as your average volunteer fire department.

But that's not a "major fire", isn't it? No, because IT WAS PUT OUT before it became a major fire.

No disrespect to the volunteers, but the response time is just NOT THERE. Something that is needed no matter where you live, and something that's critical in the older / denser sections of the city.

And after reading Calhoun's comments in the newspaper regarding the lost election, he does not come across as a "bright, sensible, individual". Not like those traits ever made a good politician anyways.

Anonymous said...

Not for nothing but NT's fire dept budget is not much less than Lockport's. There was an article in the Buffalo news comparing the 2 awhile back.

Anonymous said...

Wow,just because he's a working man and not necessarily a good speaker doesn't mean he's not bright. I've talked to him personally quite a few times and think he would have been a fine alderman- he's got a good head on his shoulders and is also a small business owner. He knows and understands the struggles we all face in the current economy. We've got to make cuts somewhere. Sure I wouldn't want to see my house on fire,but that is why we carry hazard insurance isn't it? This city will lose more people if we don't do something. BTW- North Tonawanda's population is atleast 10,000 more than ours.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope that the new council can do something regarding a cost effective way to the Fire Department dilema. Because I'm at the breaking point of wanting to move out of the city myself!

Rocketboy said...

It's not a matter of being a "working man" (as opposed to what, unemployed/retired?), but to have one of his platforms that has very real repercussions to the safety and welfare of the city residents, to be based on assumptions, is a problem with me.

Before coming to the conclusion that there's no need for a full time fire department, did he actually look into how many fires there were? Did he look into how many rescue calls were made? Did he take a look at what the increased response time would have done in these situations? Based on what he said, no. Based on what he said, he didn't have any idea what the actual numbers were.

And that, is not a bright decision.

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