BAVPA ReConstruction - End Week 35

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March 2, 2007 - Day 251
I had the opportunity to chat with Paul McDonald, the Board of Education's liaison between LP Ciminelli and the City this week. Things are still on schedule and as you can see major advances have been made on the building's exterior.
Picture 049
view from fixBuffalo's roof!
Compare the above pic with this pic from week #18! I'm expecting another tour of the building's interior very soon.

While this house at 125 Woodlawn was demolished recently, there is a growing list of abandoned and vacant homes in the immediate neighborhood surrounding this 30m investment in the arts and education. The current condition of the neighborhood has not improved in the past 24 months since the decision to relocate Performing Arts to this neighborhood was made. It has become steadily worse during this time.

Bethel CDC - Rev. Richard Stenhouse is the Executive Director is the second single largest owner of blighted property immediately surrounding this new school. Rev. Stenhouse is also a member of Buffalo's Fiscal Stability Authority - aka, Buffalo's Control Board. The largest owner of blighted property surrounding this new 30m investment in the arts and education is the City of Buffalo itself.

If the City of Buffalo is immune from its own rules and gets a free pass from Housing Court, should Rev. Stenhouse get a free pass as Secretary/Treasurer of the Control Board? Like to know.

Make sure to check out Boarding Control...yikes!
See BAVPA Reconstruction Archive for additional details and updates.
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row Housesfaqmy flickr
the creativity exchange


Anonymous said...

it will be great to see the finished project minus the plastic. the rev. stenhouse needs to find one career and stick with it. does he have a different gig for each day of the week?

Anonymous said...

Question? As a faith based not-for-profit organization does Rev. Stenhouse's church pay taxes on the properties the church owns? Perhaps the good reverend is simply waiting for the city to demolish the houses and thus save him the cost. Isn't this the way Bush's faith based initiatives are supposed to work? (Some men rob you with a six gun, others with a "good book".) These are the same people who build sub-standard $100,000. new houses and then turn around and say, "there's a learning curve associated with new home ownership."

Anonymous said...

Why doesnt Rev. Stinkhole do something with the homes he controls? Maybe him and Mayor Bozo are conspiring to bring down the city.

Anonymous said...

Interesting difference a year makes. Just did a quick search about Stenhouse and notice that in March 2006, you posted something seemingly positive about him, which you titled "Getting it Done in Masten!". It was the text of a Bflo News interview he had back then.

I'm not being critical of you and the other commenters for now being critical as you are of him now... it's just that it sounds like he was promising a year ago something that sounded too good to be true. I especailly roll my eyes at his prediction in the interview that his efforts would "greatly improve the economics of the East Side".

Maybe this is a good reality check.

To really "greatly improve the economics of the East Side" (or any similarly declined area for that matter), the root causes of the problems should be addressed, but I don't think Stenhouse or even the whole city govt has the power to do those things. Bottom-up big changes in behaviors would need to come from residents.

From the interview he sounds like a sharp, well-meaning guy. I suppose maybe the well-meaing part is an act, but also maybe not. So if his efforts are more or less blowing up in his face at this point, then more than anything else it might say a lot about the extreme difficulty of making these kinds of projects work. I totally agree he should be forced to do better at keeping the houses boarded up, and hiring people to do that will drive up his costs further.


Q: How do you view Buffalo's overall economic landscape?

A: The overall economic landscape is certainly in need of improvement and job creation that would hopefully bring more people back to town and increase the tax base.

From an economic viewpoint, there's certainly a need for job creation. More jobs to fuel a greater tax base that can fuel more revenue for the city.

Right now, the economics for Buffalo is very dismal. The city has not recovered from the recession of a few years ago. So there are very few months where we gain jobs. With Delphi, Ford and General Motors going through their current situation, the future has some question marks. If we're not in crisis, we're near crisis.

Q: How can we fix the fiscal mess?

A: Through structural changes in the government. All union contracts have to be modified to fix the structural problems that prevent the city from becoming fiscally healthy. ... Buffalo cannot afford past traditions and procedures that are in the union contracts. It's just not financially feasible...

Without that concession, Buffalo's fiscal future is very dismal. Heaven forbid the state ever goes through a downturn in which it cannot give municipalities more money.

Q: What is the Jeremiah Partnership and how did it begin?

A: The Jeremiah Partnership is a collaboration of seven East Side churches: St. John Baptist Church, Greater RefugeTemple of Christ, Mount Olive Baptist Church, New Mount Ararat Templeof Prayer, Pentecostal Temple of God in Christ, Bethesda World Harvest and Bethel AME Church.

As we continued the discussion, we realized we were contiguous. Where my area stopped, their areas started. We decided we could worktogether. In putting our pieces together, we really do encompass agreat part of the East Side and we formed a partnership.

So instead of putting seven individual requests to funders, we put one request from all of us to do a series of projects. We don't need separate executive directors and staff. Just as corporations, we could merge to be more economically feasible and have greater impact on the marketplace.

We have a lot of projects on the drawing board that, once we get a staff and nonprofit status, we feel will greatly improve the economics of the East Side, but we're also dealing with the delivery of human services and education.