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City officials say the darndest things

I came across two "you've got to be kidding me" quotes in Tuesday's paper that are worth sharing.

First, Mayor Byron Brown tried to blame Tony Masiello for the small army of state and federal investigators crawling all over City Hall these days.

Said Hizzoner:

“Anything that’s an audit or an investigation is stuff we inherited — legacy stuff."

He apparently has been saying it a lot on the campaign trail.

It's nonsense. But don't take my word for it. Listen to what John McEnroe had to say.


Let's examine the record.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is investigating the strong-arming of city employees to work on Brown's campaign, starting with the infamous e-mails sent by Human Services Commissioner Tanya Perrin-Johnson.

Memo to Byron: She is your commissioner, not Masiello's. (And you haven't disciplined her.)

The FBI has subpoenaed city records as part of an investigation into the One Sunset restaurant deal, in which the city's main economic development agency made dubious loans. The loans were made well after Brown took office.

Can't pin that one on Tony, either.

Then we have the inquiry of the State Department of Housing and Community Renewal into a low-income housing deal that, the allegation goes, the Brown administration put the kibosh on after the developer wouldn't give into city demands that he accommodate an organization headed by an East Side preacher favored by the mayor.

Masiello was long gone before the funny business started.

And let's not forget about the criminal investigation the State Police and Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita are  conducting into the financial affairs of Ellicott Common Council Member Brian Davis, one of the mayor's allies on the Council and fellow member of the Grassroots political organization that was instrumental to both getting elected.

I've documented how Davis is a deadbeat who doctored his resume, but nary is heard a discouraging word from the mayor.

"Legacy stuff?"


The only half-leg Brown has to stand on is the pending audit by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city has been wasting block grant money since the days of Jimmy Griffin, so you can't pin this one all on Brown.

But then again, a scathing HUD review of the program released in March showed little has changed since Brown took office.

The mayor is not alone in the brazen quote department.

Schools Superintendent James Williams cried poverty in explaining why he and the School Board took bus service away from the Charter School for Applied Technologies because the school is located on the wrong side of the city line on Kenmore Avenue.

“We need to spend our limited resources helping families and children who live and receive their education inside the City of Buffalo,” Williams said.

Ah, for the record, the district's budget this year us $772,899,860.

As in three-quarters-of-a-billion dollars.

Billion, people, billion.

"Limited resources?"

I'd hate to see how much money it would require for Williams to think he's not in the poor house.

I think Williams and Brown are giving Tom "It's All About Reform" Golisano a run for his money.



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