Tag Archives: Erie County

Tired of tax abatements: Occupy Buffalo and NY state reps @ ECIDA 2012-02-13

Lots of people, from Occupy Buffalo to at least one New York state representative, are tired of tax abatements doled out by ECIDA (the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, aka The Economic Development Corporation for Erie County). ECIDA thinks it knows better. Sound familiar?

Occupy Buffalo complained to ECIDA about tax abatements for luxury residential lofts that had already been completed, saying “this board is not a democratic process”. They noted the people’s representative on the ECIDA board had said it was a clear waste of taxpayer resources but was ignored, and couldn’t stop county resources being “fleeced by this board”. They added, “This experiment has gone on for long enough, and it’s time for immediate change” of “this crony corrupt process”. Occupy Buffalo demanded suspension of tax abatements by ECIDA until a public town hall meeting could be held.

Here’s the video:

Tired of tax abatements: Occupy Buffalo and NY state reps @ ECIDA 2012-02-13

Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, .
Video by for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

Occupy Buffalo wrote 16 February 2012, Occupy Buffalo and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency,

Continue reading

Development authority issues in Erie County, NY

In case you thought local elected and appointed governments in Lowndes County, Georgia were alone in not always being coordinated or strategic, here’s another example.

Not only does Erie County, New York have an industrial authority (ECIDA, the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, aka The Economic Development Corporation for Erie County) but many of the towns also do and there isn’t always coordination. Even in densely developed Erie County, there is a clash between rural and urban development.

Sandra Tan wrote for the Buffalo News 22 April 2012, Bad breaks given by IDAs? As a state lawmaker drafts a bill that would handicap town IDAs, those groups defend the deals they make,

“And there is no way rural communities such as Concord and the Village of Springville would ever get taken seriously by the ECIDA, said Concord Supervisor Gary Eppolito, who heads the least active town IDA in the county.

He recalled an instance where a local business asked the ECIDA for help expanding its agricultural business and was shown properties in the City of Lackawanna.”


Animal shelter vet resigns from board

Last month the Niagara County, NY SPCA fired its executive director; this month one of its board members resigned. He is a veterinarian, and he oversaw the euthanasia that a report by Erie County, NY SPCA said was improperly applied. He claims that wasn’t so, because the animals were anesthetized first, and now invoices for the anesthetic have turned up.

Michael Wooten wrote for wgrz.com 9 February 2012,

2 On Your Side contacted the SPCA Serving Erie County. Although Ms. Carr was unavailable, we were told she based her report and conclusions on the information that was provided to her and the interviews she conducted.

The Niagara County facility had poor record-keeping, so it’s possible Ms. Carr did not receive the invoices. Some have expressed concern about why all documents weren’t turned over during Ms. Carr’s investigation. Others have also questioned if Rompun, even in large concentrations and doses, are enough to make an animal unconscious.

Maybe if there had been more oversight and transparency at the animal shelter, none of this would have happened. At least in Erie County, New York, there’s finally some sort of accountability.


Animal shelter director fired

Animal shelter board received report, and then acted on it!

Charlie Specht wrote for the Buffalo News Monday, Embattled Faso fired as Niagara SPCA chief: Board move follows furor, scathing report on shelter,

The leaders of the SPCA of Niagara hired John A. Faso as executive director in April 2010 after interviewing a series of “remarkable” applicants.

“We were really impressed with the quality, but John stood out,” board President Bruno A. “Brandy” Scrufari III said at the time. “We were confident he’s here to stay for quite some time.”

Those high hopes came crashing down Monday as the board voted to fire its embattled executive director after a month of criticism and a scathing report outlining a dysfunctional culture and unnecessary and cruel euthanasia practices.

“This is a quick, decisive, positive reaction to go forward,” said Paul J. Cambria Jr., the defense attorney advising the board. “They’re well on their way to fixing it.”

It took less than one week for them to act after getting the report.


SPCA report on animal shelter: “Childish Behavior” and lack of oversight

No, not here (although the description might fit): SPCA of Erie County, New York reported on the animal shelter in neighboring Niagara County, New York. Also the parts about “horrific” animal cruelty and “excruciatingly painful” euthanasia may sound familiar.

WGRZ.com wrote today, SPCA of Niagara Report; “Childish Behavior”, Lack of Oversight,

In part of her report, Carr writes, “It’s clear that the NCSPCA is dysfunctional in many ways. Without standard operating procedures, without careful record keeping and record retrieval, without trust of one another, without a clear chain or command, with any strategies to improve, this organization will continue to disappoint and enrage the community,”

She continues, “there is an overwhelming culture of distrust at the shelter. Some staff distrust the Executive Director, the Executive Director distrusts many of the board members, many board members distrust the Executive Director and some staff and volunteers distrust some staff and staff distrusts some volunteers. Everyone seems to distrust someone associated with the SPCA. They gossip, pass on written complaints about each other to one another, try to get each other fired, go behind backs of one another to people in authority and make complaints. The evaluation team has witnessed this rather childish behavior at all levels of the organization, by board members, the Executive Director, staff members, and volunteers.”

Charlie Specht wrote for the Buffalo News yesterday, Probe details ‘horrific’ animal cruelty at Niagara SPCA: Report by Erie County counterpart details ‘excruciatingly painful’ euthanasia, Continue reading

More injured and euthanized animals

Why does this sound familiar?
After a 2 1/2-hour closed-door board meeting Wednesday, SPCA of Niagara board president Bruno Scrufari III announced the request for the probe, in the wake of charges by board member Kathy Paradowski, former veterinary technician Kari E. McAlee-Miller and others that animals were unnecessarily euthanized and that injured animals brought to the shelter were left untreated.
There are a few differences from the local situation here.

Thomas J. Prohaska wrote yesterday for BuffaloNews.com, SPCA in Erie County to probe charges against Faso: Niagara board president announces request for investigation of claims,

Barbara Carr, executive director of the SPCA Serving Erie County, said her board of directors, which meets today, would have to approve the investigation, but she doesn’t expect any difficulty in winning approval.

There will be at least one key condition: “I wouldn’t do an investigation unless the document we produced was made public,” Carr said.

The relevant local authorities welcome an investigation and insist on making the results public. Imagine that!

And, according to Dave McKinley yesterday at wgrz.com, Niagara Co. SPCA Approves Outside Investigation Of Its Animal Shelter Continue reading

Jails in Erie County, NY: DoJ Sues

Jail conditions are a widespread problem. Matthew Spina reports in the Buffalo News about Erie County, New York jails:
“Jails must provide for the basic medical and mental health needs of inmates and must keep them safe from attacks by other inmates and excessive force by staff,” Loretta King, the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.

“We have repeatedly sought the county’s cooperation in working toward an amicable resolution in this matter, and we regret that the county’s failure to cooperate compels us to litigate,” she continued.

“In light of the severity of the conditions, including multiple suicides and beatings, we must take action to ensure that the constitutional rights of those persons detained at the facilities, many of whom have not been convicted of any crime, are protected.”

This is a continuation of series on incarceration started on Canopy Roads of South Georgia; that series is now moving over here to On the LAKE Front.