Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend
 

June 15-29, 2005

Issue #77

  .........................Buffalo's Best Fiend
   

Free to Agree
Sensenbrenner's Sensibilities

by Allan Uthman

 
Gettin' Rucky in Pyongyang
Kim Jong Il gets his fleak on
by Matt Taibbi
 
Dean Was Right
Hey Howard, Keep Up the Good Jerk
by William Pitt
 

Throat Job
Newsweek Still Gagging on Unnamed Sources

by Matt Taibbi

 
SUMMER SPECTACULAR!

8-Step Summer Makeover
by Dan Devine

 

Goth Kid's Summer Survival Guide
It's not fun for everyone

 
Hallmarks of Summer
What makes Buffalo summers so darn special?
 

Sports

The Sports Blotter
The Week in Sports Crime

Sports Desk
Sporting News

Lake Erie Surfin'
People Really Do This

Cover Page
Buffalo in Briefs
Page 3
Blind Date Scenario
Beast-O-Scopes
Kino Korner - Movies
[sic] - Your Letters
The BEAST Blog

 

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Remote Control: County Sheds Cumbersome Democracy

“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.”
-John Adams

Western New York is getting another control board, which, according to the latest polls, many taxpayers will greet as good news. After all, democracy has failed them for many years.

Here’s how the new deal will work: Rather than removing from office the politicians responsible for the county’s $120 million budget shortfall, lawmakers in Albany will impose a set of unaccountable insiders to straighten things out. Like the control board for Buffalo, this new body will be in existence for 20 to 30 years, during which time they will fly first class and hire a large staff.

The new county control board will be a New York State Authority, like the good folks who run the Thruway. Meanwhile, the Erie County Legislature will be relegated to a “rump” body, something like the British House of Lords, but without powdered wigs – or whigs. State Comptroller Alan Hevesi has declared that this is the best thing for the county.

Never mind that last year Hevesi published a study showing the corruption of New York State’s authorities; how authorities have generated over 90 percent of the state's debt by outliving their utility. How do they survive? By borrowing more money. For example, the Triborough Bridge was paid for in the late 1930s. The authority set up to build it survives to this day.

Many control board apologists have noted that elected leaders in Albany select the members. That is sort of like picking a surrogate to buy your clothes for you, who then sub-contracts the task to someone else, and that guy then buys things you are ashamed to wear because people will laugh at you.

Indeed, they are laughing already. Buffalo and Erie County suffer from a serious image problem, which not even a highly-paid Hollywood agency could remedy. “The Armpit of the East,” is not a flattering sobriquet.

Alas, nothing good can come of a control board for Erie County, not even for those who think they really want it. See, Erie’s property taxes are the second-lowest in the state already. The control board can’t cut them further.

Get ready for steady tax increases to offset the reckless cutting of County Executive Joel Giambra and the legislature during the past several years. Get ready; they comin’ to tax yo ass!

<Last brief [8]: Illuzzi's 'Sources' -/- Next brief[2]: Helfer, Great White Dope>

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