Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lets Get With the Program.

The WBFO post from last week talks about how ECC now has support from our county executive... Great.. Well, we are still happy that he sees the importance of making sure that the right programs are being taught in that building and that he wants a study done.

This summer, Bernice Radle, had the opportunity to address the City Council with a list of the programs that would be taught in this new building and they were ALL medical related. We don't imagine that this list has changed very much since the nursing and other health/medical related programs are very important at ECC.

Regardless of the classes, this money approval shows that our local government is not thinking regional as well as going against what our governor is pushing to do which is pushing our strength into our downtown core. Our regional government is supporting sprawl in a time where bus lines out to the campus are being taken away. We are supporting to build a new building when ECC claims the other buildings are out of date.. shouldnt we be putting funds into restoring the buildings we already have?

Sprawl, Sprawl, Sprawl. Why are we not building smarter and denser? Why is ECC running away from the medical campus when all others are pushing to be a part of it? Why does our County Executive support ECC despite the HUGE amount of public outcry on this issue? Why are we not thinking regionally?

Lets get with the program.

The Common Council Urges Poloncarz to Withdraw Support!

This appeared in the Buffalo News on Friday. Thank you to our council members for taking the future of downtown Buffalo seriously!
Here is the text:
The Buffalo Common Council is asking Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz to withdraw his support — and county funding — for a proposed academic building on the North Campus in Amherst.
Council members favor building near the City Campus, instead.
Building in Amherst “would be the latest in a long line of critical planning mistakes that have plagued the region,” Council members said in a letter to the county executive.
The letter — signed this week by all nine Council members — comes after the Poloncarz administration recently gave assurances that the county would keep its commitment to contribute $7.5 million for a new $30 million building on the Amherst campus, which has fallen into disrepair.
“At a time when other regions across the country are acknowledging the inevitable long-term negative economic and environmental impacts of ‘sprawl’ development,” the Council letter reads, “Erie County appears poised to actively encourage and fund it in the amount of $7.5 million.”
The letter goes on to say that sustaining three campuses — in Amherst, Buffalo and Orchard Park — is financially unsustainable for taxpayers.
A Poloncarz spokesman did not want to comment on the Council’s letter Thursday, because the county executive had not yet seen it.
County lawmakers last year agreed to designate $7.5 million for the project, with the expectation that the college and its foundation would raise another $7.5 million.
That money would be used to match $15 million in state aid that is in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposed 2012-13 budget.
The Council is the latest to come out in opposition against the building on the North Campus.
Former Erie County Executive Joel A. Giambra— who fought for years with ECC officials to consolidate the three campuses downtown to help strengthen and revitalize the city’s core — has been the most vocal critic of plans for North.
A group that calls itself Young Citizens for ECC also has been voicing its opposition.
Members of that group received support from the Council months ago, when city lawmakers — including North District Council Member Joseph Golombek Jr. and Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen—tried to pressure ECC officials to reconsider the Amherst proposal.
So, it was no surprise the Council took the stance it did this week, said Jason Kulaszewski, a spokesman for Young Citizens for ECC.
“I’m glad to see that they did,” said Kulaszewski, an ECC alumnus. “It’s great to get that support from the people in power in the City of Buffalo.”
One of the points of contention has been the use of the proposed building.
Opponents argue that initial discussions were to use the building for health and science programs, but a building designed for that purpose would be better suited for the City Campus, near the emerging Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
ECC now says that’s not the case and the specific use for the building is still being determined.
ECC President Jack F. Quinn Jr. also did not know about the Council letter Thursday, but said he looks forward to ongoing discussions with the Council.
“Their views will be taken into consideration,” Quinn said.