Mayoral Debate 1

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News reported on last nights debate at city hall between Smith, Pilot, and Green.

The need for retrenchment in city government was the overriding theme of a candidates’ forum Thursday night in City Hall, featuring the three challengers for the mayor’s job.

There were no gaudy promises from Republican hopeful Phyllis J. Green or Democrats Jack L. Smith Jr. and Michael J. Pillot.
Instead, the message was that Lockport cannot afford big programs anymore and needs to focus on efficiency and necessities...
 A couple points here based on what was noted in the article:
  1. Nice to see someone finally using the word plan along with acknowledging that you can not just keep cutting taxes to get somewhere. I would still prefer to see actual plans.
  2. As for the "big programs", what exactly are they? I don't notice to many luxuries abounding around here. We can't even keep our street trees intact.
  3. "Flight of Five" is mostly historic preservation money, grants etc. Not sure why it is referred to as a major expense to the city. I do also believe we hold some responsibility to see that the most is made from one of the great engineering feats of the early 19th century that is in our keep.
  4. The concert series does come directly from taxes though it is half of one percent of the budget. Save $12.50 per property to remove the life out of DT during the summer? And please don't move them out of DT as you remove any direct benefits to businesses and advertizing of Lockport.You might as well just do away with them then.
  5. One person in the assessor office would have taken years to reassess all 10,000 properties in the city. By time they were done the first ones they did would have already been out of date. $170,000 for "temp hires" was a deal (~$17/property).
  6. Wish I had a better grasp on why Pilot is 100% opposed to the new trash system. 100%, really?
I'm a little mad at myself that I missed this. I will have to make sure I catch the radio on of which Tucker is now supposed to participate. and to reiterate: A plan in writing please....from anyone.


Moe said...

-The concerts are a low tax percentage, if you look at it that way. looking at it another way they costy at least $150,000. That sounds a lot more, doesn't it? I still don't know why they can't collect $2 at the door, no one would care dropping that much and it would pay for the concerts.
-I agree, only benefit is if they are downtown.
-Still don't see why the made the trash thing so complicated. Noticed Amherst just re0-did theres at a big savings. They do it like the town does, just a max number of bags out a week. We made it so complicated, so many rules, etc.
-The flight of 5 will take state grants, wouldn't we be better of taking our state grant money in the form of infrastructure help? Though it's all different budsgets, the state is going to say"we gave them $5M for locks, we aren't giving them fore for ..."

Karen said...

I also do not understand the aversion to the new garbage program (except that it a change from what it has always been and people always have trouble with things that are different).

Also, it is RIDICULOUS what the Lockport paper will print stories about, and yet not print anything about the debates. I often wonder why I spend my money advertising there...

GI Joe redux said...

Just a few observations: I don't see anything on-line from the Union Sun Journal about the forum.??? Was I looking to early?

Tom Prohask's article was really weak. No...it sucked. He should be ashamed to call himself a reporter/writer.

Admittedly I'm a Smith supporter. But really folks..Is there any practical, qualified opponent out of what you witnessed last evening that can beat Tucker other than Smith? Can you picture Phylis Green going to Albany and trying to explain what the city needs?

I like Phylis Green and I mean no disrespect when I say this. Can you picture Mike Pilot in Albany? I can't.

I'm sorry... Pilot seems like a nice man, but he's an empty book.We don't need another leader that governs by his gut feelings.Pilot has all the attributes and instincts of a "beat cop" but no clue what this city needs from an administrative perspective. He wants to take every phone call from all citizens about everything and anything they want to talk about. He obviously needs some "time management" advise.That sounds more like the police dispatch than the Mayors office....... and I say that with all do respect.

The "warm and Fuzziness" of going out to the streets to meet and talk with the people as Pilot thinks the Mayor SHOULD do is great but it will do nothing to move the city forward.Pilot doesn't have the answers.

Some of you may not like the choices but it's clear to me who looked Mayoral last night and who is better equipped to run the city.

Anonymous said...

MJ-I believe that LCTV is replaying the candidates forum at 7:30 tonight. Also, I believe that the city clerk was quoted once saying that $100,000.00 equalled 1% of the tax rate, so the concert cost is probably closer to 1 1/2% tax increase or decrease, however you decide to look at it.

Karen- I agree with your view of the garbage,and I can't understand why the US&J didn't cover it, maybe the Mayor told them not to because he wasn't there.

MJ said...

Thanks for the tip on the replay.

I just divided 125k by 20M for the concert tax percentage example.


Amherst went with Modern also. Amherst does use totes currently, will be getting recycling totes (instead of current baskets), and also will be using the variable dump fee and recycling reimbursement. All parts of the Lockport system.

As for the last paragraph explaining the extra trash it may an additional part of the contract for either more money or part of the purchasing power of 125k people to 20k people.

Anonymous said...

MJ but for trash they didn't go with the 'standard' containers, you can put out up to 8 bags/cans/etc. Thats where I think we went to complicated and expensive. I didn't even realize till I read it last week that the city has to borrow $980,000 for the garbage cans!

Anonymous said...

Joe, Since it seems like it is top secret info can you as our inside guy get info on Smith for us, i.e. his education and his job title/duties? Who is he, what does he do and why is he qualified to run our city?

MJ said...

Yes they did. They have had totes already and will continue to. Reread the last paragraph of the article. "...in addition to the totes"

They get to choose between 65 and 95 gallon trash totes and get 65 gallon recycle totes.

Here's the law amendment:
I'm too lazy to read through their current trash law right now.

GI Joe said...

Anon...Where were you last night? You missed alot of info. I'm not the "inside guy" I support what Jack stands for as do a lot of people.

On September 8th. ( ?) the League of Women Voters will sponsor the next debate. I'm sure you can find out more about Jack by listening to his answers to the questions that will be presented..

If you're a REGISTERED DEMOCRAT and you are likely to vote in the primary, you have most likely met Jack Smith already or have an information flyer with his vitals.( self explanatory)

If you're suggesting that there is suddenly a "litmus" test to qualify for Mayor, you need only look to the last eight years to realize the bar has been set very low.

Smith's work experience, his organizational and Managerial skills, plus his advocacy for a better quality of life for our city through housing and neighborhood revitalization are part of the record.

If you're genuinely curious that's great. If your trying to "bait me"...move along.

Anonymous said...

MJ the article says they are replacing the recycling 'tubs' (like in the town) with the 65 gallon totes. The article doesn't say anything about garbage totes. It does say "Trash collection will be limited to eight large or container-bound or boxed items in addition to the totes. " so I am assuming totes aren't required if you can put out 8 containers.
I am just saying we made this much more complicated and more expensive then it had to be.

Anonymous said...

Joe - whart "Smith's work experience, his organizational and Managerial skills,.." are you talking about? What is his work experience and managerial experience?
All I know about his managerial experience is that he runs (or did run, we aren't sure about that yet) the local HV office, where he will make money for giving away city money (taxes) for approving it.

GI Joe said...


Anonymous said...

Glad you agree

GI Joe said...


Liz said...

So, like I said, can ANYONE please run for mayor that is actually qualified to do so and will stand on something other than the two "hot button" issues of the canal concerts and the garbage plan? Phyllis Green is clueless. Yes, please, let's take the concerts out of downtown so they make absolutely no financial sense at all. Too crowded? Since when is a lot of people in your downtown area a BAD thing?

Pillot - I am 100% against garbage. OK why? I'm 100% against it, that's why.

Give me a break.

I think I'm going to sit this one out. I can't bring myself to vote for anyone that is running right now.

Patti said...

Where was I?
I rarely bother to read the US&J so that might be an excuse - and I, also, don't listen to WLVL unless I'm in the car. It's still indefensible that I didn't watch the debate and I missed it earlier this evening.
I guess Jack Smith didn't visit me because I'm a Republican? That's dumb.
I STILL want someone to tell me what his work experience is, has he ever owned or run a multi-million dollar operation, what is his personal financial history and his managerial experience. Has he ever been an owner and/or a boss?
We all know Tucker's background and many here don't hesitate to speak of only the black marks on his "permanent record." He doesn't deny any of it.
What's Jack's???

Patti is Disgusted said...

Thanks to MJ for pointing out, to a "T," MY position on the Flight of Five. How petty would this city be if we were to allow it to disintegrate into the sands of time? Jack Smith's position of putting it on "the back burner" is short-sighted and downright stupid. He hasn't done his homework. He's an Alderman and should know this based on the position he has NOW!

I still want the info on his background. Beat up on Tucker 'cause he worked at Harrisons when we don't even know where Jack's from or what he's done?

GI Joe said...

why would Jack Smith visit a republican prior to the Democratic primary where republicans can't cast a vote for him.? It's a great display of time management skills. Wouldn't you agree?

I'm sure once past the primary his focus will change to all voters voting in the general election. You're criticizing a good campaign strategy. Based on what I've seen on this blog you aren't voting for him anyway..right?

GI Joe said...

"Back Burner"= Prioritizing
When you eliminate all of the "dramas" over the Flight of Five you know it's not going to be allowed to disintegrate. The funding is there and should be used. BUT.....do you really want the Flight of Five to appear to be more important than...

Drug Problems
Housing Blight and boarded up buildings
Failing infrastructure
Inefficiently managed government
Unfair Assessments
Wasted government spending
and On and On...

That's all Smith is saying and to portray it as if he's AGAINST the FOF is a tad disingenuous..don't ya think?

Does anyone have a stick of gum for Jack Smith? Because out of everyone running for Mayor, Smith is likely to be the most efficient at running the City and Chewing Gum at the same time. :-)

Liz said...

I'm not a democrat or a republican, I'm independent, so I can't vote for either in a primary. I don't let party lines dictate who I vote for. I vote for whomever is the best qualified candidate. And in this case, I see none.

Anonymous said...

I think you can "write in" on the Independent Party line if you are part of the "party".

Someones going to run the city. Do you want more of what we have now?

I don't

Anonymous said...

Liz, you CAN vote on primary day if you are registered Independence. You simply need to write in Smith's name under the Indy line. please don't pass on an opportunity to help our city

pol said...

duh, 'independent' is not the same thing as being registered as a member of the 'Independence' party

liz is the only smart one above.. if you vote for parties, please, do us all a favor, don't vote.

Anonymous said...

Liz, I'm NO expert but I think unless you have a Party affiliation, you can't vote in the primary.

I am also an "Independent", but two years ago I decided to register as a Democrat in order to be able to vote in the primary.

The Board of Elections is the obvious source you want to speak with.

Patti Knows! said...

The Independence Party does have a primary - when they need to.
Many people say they're "independent" because they're not comfortable registering Republican or Democrat.

Anonymous said...

I always wondered what it would feel like to have a blog all to my self...now I know.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to vote.

Jack Smith For Mayor

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