elections are over and the results could be worse. Paladino-puppet
Kevin Helfer gained only about a 5% bump from his Buffalo-Niagara
Partnership and Buffalo News endorsements, so now we can
calmly go back to bashing Byron Brown. Brown needs to make
it clear from day one that he really is going to do things
differently, or we won’t be the only ones.
incumbents will be out in January, at the county and town
levels, either because they lost or they saw the writing
on the wall and chose not to run. Unfortunately, County
Legislature Chairman George Holt wasn’t among them, and
we’re also stuck with Sheriff Tim Howard. But Holt is a
non-factor—although he does plan to run again for Chairman,
and letting him have that position again would be a travesty.
there’s a lot of fresh blood, and unseated Republicans.
The Legislature will be overwhelmingly Democratic now, and
unfettered by the universally shunned County Executive,
whose approval they need not seek to pass any old thing
they want—provided they don’t find a way to split and struggle
anyhow. Perhaps. But who will watch them? Democrat Mark
Poloncarz scored an upset in the race for the all-important
county Comptroller position – who knows; maybe he’ll even
do the job.
better. They’d all better, the Mayor and the Legislature
especially. We’ll be watching, as will others, and we’d
better see some fucking action this time, or it’s time to
start congregating and lighting torches.
of the more surprising results was in the race for Amherst
Town Supervisor, in which rich, high-profile incumbent Susan
Grelick lost to UB Prof Satish Mohan, an underdog candidate
from the beginning who won by a significant margin, despite
the fact that he is named Satish Mohan. How did it
happen? One obvious reason is that Mohan promised to cut
taxes by 15% without reducing services, which seems impossible,
and coupled with other Mohan campaign promises, like his
messianic promises to "end flooding" and sinking
homes in Amherst, makes Mohan seem like, well, a surprisingly
savvy politician who knows how to exaggerate his head off
to get elected.
reason is that Amherst Democratic Chair Dennis Ward didn’t
lift a finger to help Grelick, according to a campaign staffer.
It’s fairly well known that Ward, along with his brother,
Amherst town board member Dan Ward, don’t exactly love Grelick,
for supporting candidates not endorsed by them and for her
cozy relationships with developers. But to the point of
letting a GOP candidate take her seat? To be fair, the Republicans
wouldn’t touch Mohan until he took the nomination.
Amherst voters have been ticked off by a recent rash of
reassessments of their property values, which amounted to
a de facto rise in property taxes. What if anything Grelick
had to do with the reassessments we don’t know, but people
tend to take aim at the most visible member of their local
regime when they get angry.
that the election is over and we no longer have any recourse
against them, the exiting county legislature has finally
found the fortitude to raise our sales tax and fend off
a “hard” county control board for now. How brave. Of course,
the board will continue to soak up our tax money (over a
million a year in sales tax, according to the Buffalo News).
Clearly, this situation is about as retarded as it gets.
people, fed up with local politicians, would prefer a hard
control board for the county, despite the fact that it effectively
eliminates representative government, which seems just a
little bit too unconstitutional for our tastes. But lets
not forget how many of those politicians will be gone next
year, precisely because voters were fed up. That’s how representative
government is supposed to work. What would be great is if
our newly elected legislators would actually represent us,
and make the situation better all by themselves. Then maybe
someday we could kick the control board altogether.