Just a few short weeks ago, the Buffalo Common Council had a once a decade opportunity to fill an open seat. It was the opportunity to set aside politics and give a qualified candidate a year to fix an ailing district without politics coming into play. But, I guess the chance to do what was right has been clouded by the usual maneuvering that has become Buffalo politics.
The Buffalo News is reporting that the Council had narrowed the candidates down to three. The council now has to decide among the professor, the firefighter, and the reverend. If only a candlestick maker had been available. What they are really deciding though is which candidate will be loyal to the council and not the mayor, so that the constant power struggle can continue.
Rev. Darius Pridgen is not my favorite person in Buffalo, but he is an activist for a neighborhood he cares deeply about. He is also being touted as the candidate of choice by Mayor Byron Brown, which has put a large X on his back in the council's eyes. Even though he received the backing of the district's Democratic committee, the council refuses to give Brown any more power than he already has. In their minds a vote for Pridgen solidifies the pro-Brown majority on the council. The other two candidates also have nice resumes and would benefit the district, but no one seems to have enough votes to get the seat. As usual politics has gotten in the way.
The unfortunate part here is that the Ellicott district almost had an opportunity to have a non-politician fight for the district for the next year. Instead there will be some compromise reached on the council and the political favorite will get put in. The only people that win in this situation are the usual politicians that have forgotten their job is to serve the people, not their own interests.