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Rodriguez hopes for a face-to-face meeting

By Jill Terreri

Republican mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez is keeping hope alive that he will meet face-to-face with Mayor Byron Brown, even as Brown has made clear he is not interested in another debate. 

Rodriguez will be at a "community discussion" at 5:30 p.m. today at the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library, 1324 Jefferson Ave.

"I really hope that the mayor will accept this opportunity to engage directly with residents," said Rodriguez, who will also appear on a Progressive ballot line. 

Continue reading "Rodriguez hopes for a face-to-face meeting" »

Golombek calls for casino money to be spent on ECC

By Jill Terreri

North Council Member Joe Golombek will call for the Common Council to use a "significant portion" of the city's share of casino revenue to fund an expansion of Erie Community College's city campus during a news conference at 1 p.m. today.

The city received $15.5 million in slot machine revenue from the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in July.

Golombek is asking Mayor Byron Brown to "rally behind the proposal."

Brown said during a debate in August that he is in favor of ECC expanding in the city but said the response he got from the college was not promising.  

ECC has announced plans to expand in Amherst, but the Council has gone on record opposing those plans, saying science and health programs should be accessible for city students, which make up 47 percent of the college's student body. Young Citizens for ECC, which is leading an effort to try to get the college to change course and expand in the city instead, have said that such programs should be located near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, where health science graduates will end up working.  

"This is an opportunity to transform the City Campus into the flagship, rather than the smallest, of ECC's three campuses," Golombek said. 

Golombek will be joined by Bernice Radle, co-chair of Young Citizens for ECC, during today's news conference at the ECC city campus. 

Rodriguez to announce new ballot line

By Jill Terreri

Republican mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez will announce a new ballot line in an event at 10 a.m. today at City Hall. 

Rodriguez has passed petitions to appear on a "progressive" line, in an effort to appeal to more city voters. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city 7 to 1, and any citywide candidate must win votes from Democrats in order to be successful.

Rodriguez is challenging Mayor Byron Brown, who has the Democratic, Independence and Conservative lines.

He will also speak this morning about Teddy Roosevelt, who was the subject of festivities here last weekend.  

Rodriguez has been busy making daily visits to neighborhoods as part of his "30 neighborhoods in 30 days" tour. 

Rodriguez stands alone at block club meeting

By Jill Terreri

Republican mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez alerted reporters on Tuesday that he and Mayor Byron W. Brown were scheduled to appear that evening in front of a block club in the city's north east corner. 

The appearance could have marked the only venue where both candidates would appear before the Nov. 5 election. Brown has not agreed to any upcoming debates (Rodriguez participated in pre-primary debates, which also included Brown and Democrat Bernie Tolbert) and it's not clear they will discuss the issues one-on-one in any venue before general election ballots are cast. 

But Brown didn't attend the Judge's Row Block Club meeting at St. Michael's church near Kensington and Eggert, and a spokesman said he did not commit to going, though Rodriguez's campaign noted that the block club felt confident enough that the mayor would be there that they promoted the appearance on its web site

Rodriguez had the floor to himself, and talked about crime and education, jobs and a residency requirement for police officers, according to WBFO's Mike Desmond. 

Continue reading "Rodriguez stands alone at block club meeting" »

Brown, Rodriguez scheduled to appear together

By Jill Terreri 

Mayor Byron Brown and his Republican challenger, Sergio Rodriguez, have not scheduled any one-on-one debates before the general election.

But the candidates are scheduled to appear together tonight, according to a release from the Rodriguez campaign. (Rodriguez wants to debate, Brown does not.)   

The Judges Row Block Club is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. at St. Michael's Church, 81 Burke Drive, near the Kensington and Eggert intersection. 

It could be the only time the two remaining mayoral candidates are in the same room before the Nov. 5 election. 

Continue reading "Brown, Rodriguez scheduled to appear together" »

Rodriguez's economic development plans

By Jill Terreri

Republican mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez released a five-page economic development plan today, emphasizing greater hiring opportunities for women and minorities.

He continued to press his case that the construction around town is not helping people in neighborhoods and said he would make sure that hiring "goals" for women and minorities would be turned into requirements in his admininstration. 

Continue reading "Rodriguez's economic development plans" »

Rodriguez to talk economic development

By Jill Terreri

Republican mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez will be at the Hatch restaurant today to talk about his economic development platform. 

The Hatch was a key part of an audit from Comptroller Mark Schroeder, released yesterday. 

Rodriguez quickly pounced on the audit in a release yesterday, saying that the Erie Basin Marina operators have been "robbing the city blind" while Mayor Byron Brown has been accepting political donations from the operators. 

The Brown administration said it would hire new operators for the marina and restaurant for the 2014 season. 

Continue reading "Rodriguez to talk economic development" »

Sergio wants to debate, Brown does not

By Jill Terreri

The primary results aren't even 12 hours old, but Republican Sergio Rodriguez said unequivocally in a statement this morning that he wants to debate before the general election. 

"It is irresponsible for the mayor to deny the people of Buffalo an opportunity to hear about what each candidate plans on doing to address the issues that matter most to the residents of Buffalo.
"Considering that Buffalo is currently facing challenges of epidemic proportions in the areas of education, crime, unemployment, poverty and population decline; the mayor should jump at the opportunity to present the people with his ideas to reform Buffalo.

Continue reading "Sergio wants to debate, Brown does not" »

Brown promises more economic development, but not more debates

By Jill Terreri

Mayor Byron W. Brown promised more economic development in the city in remarks to reporters after his victory speech tonight, but did not commit to debating his general election opponent, Republican Sergio R. Rodriguez. 

News Staff Reporter Mark Sommer was at Statler City, where Brown talked about what happens next: 

"We want to focus on continuing to strengthen this community economically, helping businesses to grow, and bringing more jobs to the residents of this community.  You'll be seeing more housing subdivisions and development taking place.  Now is the time to begin to rebuild the population of this great city.

 

 "We want to focus on the arts community, which we think is a critical economic engine  in this community, and you will see more focus there.  We are going to focus on providing additional support to our public schools in a very strategic way, and I will be very aggressive in bringing more strategic support ot our schools, and to redouble our efforts in rebuilding neighborhoods."

Continue reading "Brown promises more economic development, but not more debates" »

More on city's HUD spending

By Jill Terreri    

The question of whether the city had to repay the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for misusing federal funds has been at the center of a line of attack from Republican Sergio Rodriguez against Mayor Byron Brown. 

Brown denied this claim during a debate, and HUD spokesman Adam Glantz told me last week that the city "did not have to return any funds to HUD."  The city has to use city funds for programs that aren't eligible for federal funding, and then use the federal funds on other, eligible activities, he said. 

Then Rodriguez's campaign pointed to this Investigative Post story, which says the city had returned $100,000.

I followed up with HUD for a clarification.

Continue reading "More on city's HUD spending" »

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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