Buffalo’s financial plan projects substantial cuts in spending beginning in July 2021

My post last week provided details on the City of Buffalo’s precarious 2020-2021 budget. Drawing on both budget facts that pre-dated 2020 and an analysis of the 2020-2021 budget prepared by the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority (BFSA), the numbers present a very dramatic and uncertain financial future.

Here is a summary of the ongoing dilemma that the city faces:

1. The city ran an operating deficit in 2019-2020 which required them to borrow $25 million. The city sold a Revenue Deficiency Note in that amount to close out the year. Continue reading

The city of Buffalo’s serious financial problems has led the Control Board to request state legislation authorizing $121 million of deficit financing over the next two years

A review of City of Buffalo finances has led the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority (BFSA) to call for special state legislation which would authorize borrowing up to $121 million over the next two years to maintain city services. How and when that money would be paid back is not known.

The agenda for a meeting on July 20 posted on the BFSA website included a “BFSA Review and Analysis of the City of Buffalo’s 2020-21 Adopted Budget and 2021-2024 Financial Plan”. That extensive document was followed by a resolution by the Authority Board. Continue reading

Pro-active work to promote registration and early voting is the best way for Democrats to combat Republican voting suppression

In the early days of my involvement in politics I worked on many campaigns at Democratic headquarters in Buffalo. My main tasks were usually researching issues and writing news releases, but I also did a great deal of envelope labeling and stuffing and telephoning. One of the things that Joe Crangle’s operations excelled in was preparation for election mailings and voter contact.

Not too many people in Erie County today can remember when the county, by registration, was a Republican county. The shift began in the 1960’s. It was a lot of hard work. The main architect of that switch was Joe Crangle, who served as Democratic Chairman from 1965 through 1988. Continue reading

Trump’s failed management of the COVID-19 crisis and his lack of empathy for average Americans have infected the Republican Party

We are into August with just three months to go until the election. Everyone is joining Jared Kushner in celebrating the end of the coronavirus problem in July. We were all “rocking and rolling” that the pandemic has passed.

Okay, so Jared’s plan did not work out. Neither did his mid-East peace plan and various other assignments handed to him. But we should not pick on poor Jared. He is running his father-in-law’s re-election campaign and everything is going wonderfully – for Joe Biden. Continue reading

Mychajliw’s questionable judgment on campaign finances

Last Tuesday’s post included among other things some reporting on the campaign financial information filed with the State Board of Elections for political committees in the state. One of the reports deserves a more detailed examination.

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw has been in office since 2012. He has run three times for Comptroller. At one time Mychajliw’s ambition was to run for County Executive. The Republican Party looked favorably on that potential campaign. But things changed in the summer of 2018. Continue reading