Out of Town...and Out of Touch...
Last Wednesday, in what according to the Buffalo News was a "hastily called" special session of the Common Council, the City of Buffalo loosened its grip on Perrysburg, NY. Frequent readers of my blog know that I've been tracking the Perrysburg Deal since it first appeared as a speck on the local radar screen in December 2004.
In spring of 1993, New York State closed the facility and the city of Buffalo had a ten year window under New York State law to do something with the place. Buffalo didn't do anything until this past Spring, when Common Council President David Franczyk and a gang of Merry Pranksters decided to "save the Perrysburg Forest."
a picture for you
David Franczyk - Preserver of the Status Quo
Seems like while Common Council President David Franczyk was away on vacation last week the rest of our elected officials voted 7-1 to release the so-called "reverter clause" that was part of the original deed and causing some of the problems for Perrysburg and Tom Trathen, a good guy who wants to put the property on the tax roles. In January, the Common Council voted 5-4 to block the sale. That vote prevented Tom Trathen from getting clear title to the 650 acres, 40 miles away in Perrysburg, NY.

Scott Cannon, the attorney representing Tom Trathen, was supposed to be in Cattaragus County Supreme Court in Little Valley, NY this week. In what is amounting to a Herculean task of prying loose David Franczyk's grip on the people of Perrysburg, City of Buffalo attorneys, successfully got this week's hearing for summary judgement adjourned over Cannon's "strenous objection." It's been re-scheduled for September 8th in Little Valley.

The Common Council voted to approve the release of the "reverter clause" with the following conditions.
  1. Sale proceeds to the City of Buffalo in the amount of $333,900;
  2. Transfer of property to the State of New York for sale to Trathen Co;
  3. Future transfer of some parcels by the State of New York to the Town of Perrysburg, as well as, the water system and necessary easements;
  4. Retaining reversionary interests in the balance of the property where the six (6) homes have been constructed;
  5. Prior written approval or disapproval from the City of Buffalo regarding the removal or demolition of the music dome in the dining hall.
The Former...JN Adam TB Hospital The Former...JN Adam TB Hospital The Former...JN Adam TB Hospital The Former...JN Adam TB Hospital The Former...JN Adam TB Hospital
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Tom Trathen strikes me as the sort of guy who is going to plow forward with his law suit against us (City of Buffalo - and our anointed and elected leaders). He has to for two reasons. First, an Article 78 proceeding might commence at any moment in an attempt to tighten Franczyk's grip on Perrysburg. And two, who knows how wound up David Franczyk might be when he returns from his vacation. (I heard that he might be in Venezuela. Comparing notes with Chavez, I suspect. His office wouldn't return my calls.) He's a brilliant guy when it comes to procedural matters and may get the 7-1 vote overturned on some technicality. My bet is that he will through both options against the wall to see what sticks and bogs down real private sector economic development in Perrysburg for another year.
To put this all in proper perspective, imagine for a moment that the City of New York claimed they held title to a portion of our waterfront. We wanted to sell and NYC pretty much says, no - we will not let you and goes on to set up a series of conditions or hoops that you have to jump thru to clear title. In effect, holding Buffalo hostage. Meanwhile the group that wanted to buy the place backs away....well fortunately for Perrysburg, Tom Trathen will not back down. Especially conditions 4 and 5.
Meanwhile should we hope that when David Franzyck returns from his Venezuelan vacation that he attend to some urgent matters over in Broadway Fillmore, where he is reported to still be living. We'll see...when I showed his picture around "his" neighborhood last week, most people said they'd never seen him. Hmmm....
Transfiguration Church - Interior Wollenberg Grain Elevator Terminal City
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And if you want to read an hilarious anecdote to this textbook case of municipal malfeasance, check out what happened recently when two City of Buffalo attorneys ventured the 40 miles to Perrysburg.
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faq

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Franczyk was in Italy, for a week. It was his wedding anniversary. He lives at Fillmore and Sycamore, however, that is not to assert that he roams around the district all that much. By all accounts he's way more into being Council President than really representing the district, although at least one guy in his office devotes his time to constituent service.