by Pat Freeman


The Erie County Legislature Committee on Economic Development recently invited me to speak on the proposal of building a downtown Multi Use stadium with a retractable roof in downtown Buffalo . Many have asked me the question how did it go with the Erie County Legislature. Honestly I found them to be cordial but I sensed that their reactions to this proposal were caught up in Politics, and lacked the passion for a subject that could change the economic landscape of an area so desperately in need of a game changing idea. The other puzzling component to me is why so many of our elected officials are going against the grain of the obvious will of the majority of its citizenry that they have taken an oath to serve. This statement is backed by three separate random sample polls which the question was asked in each: Which do you favor

Renovating Ralph Wilson Stadium

Or

Building a new stadium in downtown Buffalo

According to The Buffalo Bullet Blog Poll their results were 87% for the new stadium and 12% would rather see Ralph Wilson Stadium renovated. Sample 41 people

Wufoam.com random Poll was 76.1% for the downtown Stadium, and 23.8% for renovating Ralph Wilson Stadium

Buffalorumblings.com poll showed 55% for the downtown stadium, and 44% for renovating Ralph Wilson Stadium from a random sample of 1328 participants.

So the question must be asked if three random samplings clearly show a majority of those that participated in favor of a downtown facility then where is the passion on this subject from some of our electorate. I’m somewhat confused by this defiance to a pretty clearly painted picture of a sample of Erie county citizens, which all an election really is any way you know. Election results are nothing but a random sampling of citizens who decided to exercise their constitutional right. No election represents all of the views of its citizens but only those that decided to express that view during a lawful mandated time frame. What I’m finding from some of our elected officials as I’ve made the case for a new downtown stadium is a scary lethargic sense of I’ll do whatever I want to do despite what is in the best interest of the people, or what they desire.

I’m sorry, I watch the body language of who I’m presenting too from my upbringing in the church. If the preacher says something you like you’re suppose to say amen,” If he says something you disagree with you say Lord Help him.” But to sit there a have no expression, or ambivalence to a presentation that could change the landscape of the western New York economy is an insult to the moral fabric of what an elected official is suppose to represent. So those of you that are suppose to be listening this is a warning your body language is being studied very closely. Yes I was very disappointed with the response from members of the Erie County Legislature. Very few questions if any and I would give you a solid F on listening, and an F on asking relevant questions to a game changing idea, and a plan. Just to make a note to clarify I’m only referring to some of its members not to all.

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