12 years. Even before Mayor Byron Brown took office, this vacant and abandoned property on the Cheektowaga/Buffalo border has gone untouched by the City of Buffalo.
That is until it was tagged with political graffiti designed specifically to get Mayor Brown’s attention:
The picture above was captured sometime on the night of August 27th and began circulating on social media channels.
Less than 24 hours after its appearance, Mayor Brown immediately dispatched a city work crew (taxpayer dollars) to immediately remove the graffiti from the building. Just the politically damaging graffiti of course. None of the other neighboring gang tags and other markings of a troubled neighborhood were removed. Those remain for all to see.
Last month, Democratic challenger Bernie Tolbert got a similar response to a press conference he held with residents in Johnson Park and Tracy Street. Tolbert said back then:
“Since the posting videos of those conversations, City Hall has finally started to take some action. In Johnson Park, two days after I highlighted a deteriorating building that was an eyesore and a community health issue, Mayor Brown had his crews out cleaning up debris and improving the stability of the building, much to the relief of area residents. Today again, Mayor Brown has finally taken action that may help combat the violence and crime that has made Buffalo the 11th most dangerous city in the nation and the most violent city in the state. I commend the community activists and leaders who are stepping forward in working together to restore peace to our streets and safety to our community. I want to thank Mayor Brown for adopting my program for such collaboration as I mentioned last week in my Taking It to the Streets Tour. I further look forward to taking the next steps to a Better Buffalo by working with these leaders when I am elected mayor.”
Suddenly as we looked out a window in Allentown today, what did we see? Is that a cop walking the beat?
On Friday evening, the patrons of bars and restaurants on Allen Street patios, awash in the live music spilling out the doors of Nietzsche’s and Duke’s Bohemian Grove, were met with a most remarkable sight: two uniformed Buffalo Police officers cheerfully walking the beat.
Not a one-officer car rolling by. Two officers. Together. Walking. On a regular Friday night in Allentown—no street festival or parade, no outdoor concert, no manhunt for a dangerous fugitive.
“Is this really happening?” a bar patron said to the cops. “Is this for real?”
“Election year,” one of the cops said, smiling. He said that cops sometimes asked to do foot patrols in their districts but were generally told no. “You probably won’t see us after the primary,” he added. Of course not, though one could hope that the salutary presence of cops walking the beat might continue through the general election.
Pretty sad that it takes political pressure and public embarrassment to get this current administration to respond to the needs of its citizenry.