Byron Brown has officially received his mandate to be dictator of Buffalo for four more years. Unfortunately, the only winner is Byron himself. Of course that's how it works for a Godfather, remove any competition then reward your friends. Brown's patriarchal status has never been more evident than this week.
The City of Buffalo will be taking back over the control of their parks in less than a month from the county. The Olmsted Parks conservancy has done an amazing job the last four years keeping those parks beautiful. I've said it before and I'll say it again, before the conservancy took over the parks they were dumps. You couldn't find a golf ball among the dandelions in Delaware Park and South Park was an eyesore bordered by a better looking junkyard. The conservancy has put every dollar the county gave to it back into the parks and it shows. But, for some reason Brown wants to change all of that.
More than a few writers in this city have established that Byron Brown does not live in the same city as it's 300,000 residents, the city that is the third poorest in the nation and has no poverty plan. If Brown did live in "our" Buffalo, he would walk around Delaware Park and realize how nice it looks. It's actually a destination again with manicured lawns, trimmed trees, and new trees growing. But, Brown wants to change all that.
Brown has refused to talk to the Olmsted Parks Conservancy and seems ready to give them the boot in favor of a city run parks department full of overpaid patronage employees and no budget to actually keep the parks up. I can't wait until they begin dumping salt in Hoyt lake (remember Bob Delano?).
In a related move, the South District will receive no capital improvement funds this year. Is it any surprise considering Mickey Kearns is the district representative. He was the only person willing to challenge Brown in a primary and not only did he lose the election, his district will now be punished by the mayor. I don't think it's any mystery that the South district was the only district not to have a single project approved.
The worst part of all of this is that Brown is blatantly flaunting his Godfather Status. The only thing he's missing is the pimp hat and Cadillac with an extra roomy trunk. He duped voters into believing he had a plan for the next four years, but his plan was just more of the same; patronage for friends, punishment for enemies, and Buffalo continues to suffer. Congratulations to the city Democrats you won the battle, we can only hope the city survives long enough to have a shot at the war.