[The following letter was published in the Buffalo News, on-line on 10/25/2021, and in hard copy the following day, under the heading, “Brown’s renaissance claim is simply another sham.”]
You know that Mayor Byron Brown’s claims of a “Buffalo renaissance” is political hype, and not a reality for most of this city’s residents, when:
– Major developers insist that they cannot make projects financially viable in Buffalo without the larger real property tax breaks made possible through programs such as the controversial “485-a” incentives.
– Neither Mayor Brown, nor Buffalo’s Common Council, has had the courage to do what other New York State cities have done, mandate that a specified percentage of every residential project be set aside for affordable housing to assist the 40% of city residents who live below the poverty level.
– Mayor Brown’s Administration was willing to label the Gates Circle area “blighted” in order to provide tens of millions of dollars of additional tax relief to bail out a distressed private developer, a misguided effort that a State Supreme Justice has twice declared “contrary to law, arbitrary and capricious.”
– Most revealing, Buffalo has the second highest percentage of children living in poverty of all of our nation’s larger cities.
After sixteen years of Byron Brown’s approach to running our city, it certainly is time for a change.
With All Due Respect,