Yesterday the City of Buffalo took a great step forward in becoming a true No Kill community with the passage of an ordinance which recognizes the right of free roaming cats to exist and be properly cared for. The City has also budgeted $50,000 for Trap Neuter Vaccinate and Release activity in the coming fiscal year. This is a feel good moment for a City which too often displays an inferiority complex. Today, Buffalo leads the country.
The full text of the ordinance follows:
And here's the movie.......
While attending the No Kill Workshop presented by Animal Ark in Minneapolis, WNY Politics got a chance to interview US Marine, Mitch Schneider, who appears in the new documentary movie, Redemption, The No Kill Revolution in America. (For the uninitiated, there is no such thing as an ex-Marine. It is a perpetual sentence, and once you are a Marine, you are still a Marine, even if you die.) Mitch claims he scored a zero (0) on the Myers-Briggs Thinking/Feeling indicator and thus has no feelings, but prefers to act solely on the basis of logic. He is so uncaring that he says he it doesn't even bother him that he has no feelings. A business major in college, Mitch took the Washoe County (Reno, Nevada) animal shelter No Kill, even though he didn't think it was possible. This was no mean feat, as Reno was devastated by the Great Recession and is beset with abandoned animals and homes and a staggering unemployment rate. At the onset of this venture, he was heard to remark, "If this fails, it won't be because of me." I'm not sure what lesson we can learn from the Schneider experience. Do we need all shelters to be led by Marines, or do we just need shelter directors to shut the hell up and do their jobs? Listen to Mitch and you decide.....
Ellen and I are in Minneapolis for the world premier of Redemption, The No Kill Revolution in America. Last night we were on the red carpet with Nathan and many of the stars. We had a great time. A mix of confusion, happy and sad, zany and deadly serious. You MUST see the whole movie! This is raw, unedited footage, so excuse the mixups, but it really does give the feel of the event.
This just in from the South Buffalo News:
County Ethics Board Punts on Use of County Seal
By Darryl McPherson
It was reported back in March that Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was using the County Seal on his political website. Local attorney Peter Reese believed such a use was a violation of the County Charter and sought an official inquiry by County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw. Mychajliw felt his office did not have legal jurisdiction and referred the matter to the County Board of Ethics.
Shortly after the matter was reported in the newspaper, the seal was removed from the website. The Comptroller’s spokesperson, Peter Anderson said the seal was removed along with other changes being made to the website. He maintained that the use of the seal was not improper.
At the April 16 meeting of the Ethics Board, the use of the seal was addressed. In a brief letter to Comptroller Mychajliw, Board Chair Steven Schwartz reported, “our opinion is that the proper use of the Seal of the County of Erie is limited to official Erie County business.” Without offering any definition of what is (or is not) “official Erie County business”, the Ethics Board closed the matter.
The response to the issue, or lack thereof, outraged the initial complainant Reese. “This is absurd! How can there be no one to oversee what is going on in County Hall? If someone is misusing or misappropriating County property, what are we supposed to do, sue them?’ Reese mused. He suggested that an Inspector General position should be created for Erie County, or that the State Inspector General be empowered to look into the misuse of assets and property of local governments.
On behalf of the County Executive’s office, Anderson said, “No, this would just be creating a new position that would be taxpayer-funded, and that's not necessary. There are offices already in place to handle issues such as this, like the Ethics Board, so there's not a need to create an entirely new office.”
The Comptroller had a slightly different take. He felt the Board’s opinion was “an important first step.” He believes fraud, waste, and abuse fall within the Comptroller’s jurisdiction and does not see the need for another official. “This should be taken up by the Legislature and they can determine what constitutes County business,” Mychajliw said. “They can put the issue to bed immediately and pass a proactive resolution.”
In the meantime, in light of the Ethics Board’s extremely narrow response to the issue raised by Reese, there seems to be a gap in the oversight role. While no one definitively says what constitutes what is right or wrong, “Poloncarz’s fundraisers are not official County business,” noted Reese. “Although a more forceful and definitive statement would have been appreciated, I still feel like a hunter driving back from the woods with a dead deer on the fender of my pickup.”
The Pride of ArtVoice, Alan Bedenko, has been mercilessly attacking Republican Congressional candidate in CD-26 (incumbent Brian Higgins) Kathy Weppner on the AV blog. It is difficult to count the number of poison posts, but most are at least a little unhinged. I met Kathy the other day and asked if she would do an interview. We met for coffee this morning at the Lake Effect Diner on Main Street in Buffalo. I was fascinated to learn that, like many of Bedenko's other victims, she has never met the Pride or even spoken to him. You decide whether this is the worst, most vicious and contempable person you have ever encountered.