COVID-19 will have a devastating effect on state, local government and school district budgets

Right off the bat, please understand that I consider the public health crisis to be the number one issue and the number one priority for this world, this nation, this state and Western New York. No one can be comfortable with the world as it is today without that focus.

But for this country, state and region to function properly, to provide the support and assistance needed by health care professionals, it is important to have governments who are well managed and in a position to be of assistance. That need, however, is far from being settled at this moment. Continue reading

The financial crisis will pose serious money problems at City Hall

The Coronavirus pandemic is taking its toll on those who are physically suffering through the infections and on the families who have already lost loved ones. The incredibly serious situation seems to get worse by the hour.

The leadership on this issue has come from state houses, county halls and city halls. Donald Trump is late to the game and it remains to be seen just what will come out of Washington to provide health care administrators with the medical personnel, facilities, supplies and equipment to flatten the virus’ curve.  The head-in-the-sand partisans in Washington don’t exactly have a good track record of producing results in situations such as the one we find our collective selves in at the moment. Continue reading

We wish we had 39 million dollars. Hot dog!

There is scene in the holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, played twice in the film, where the movie’s main character, George Bailey, goes into Mr. Gower’s drugstore, squeezes the handle on a box, which lights a flame.  George then says, “I wish I had a million dollars. Hot dog!”

George is beloved in the little town of Bedford Falls, where things are okay but many of its citizens are just getting by. He is honest, hardworking and caring.  He helps as many people as he can by loaning the Bailey Building and Loan’s money to people who are buying homes.  But George never gets his million dollars.

George’s dreamy wish comes to mind while observing some recent stories about the financial situation in the City of Buffalo. Instead of one million dollars, some Buffalo leaders are wishing for 39 million dollars. Hot dog! Continue reading

Election results mostly as expected; turnout better than four years ago

Yesterday’s elections offered a handful of unexpected results, but incumbents mostly won.  Turnout ticked up compared with 2015.

As projected here on August 13th, County Executive Mark Poloncarz was victorious, but his margin was smaller both in terms total votes and in percentages than in 2015.  Lynne Dixon worked hard, but she offered no compelling reason for a change in leadership in County Hall. Poloncarz’s taking-care-of-business style worked just fine. Continue reading