View Full Version : This isn't your father's city
June 23rd, 2003, 08:48 PM
June 23rd, 2003, 11:50 PM
Making it up on the fly
At a June 14 press conference on Buffalo’s West Side, Hoyt said that Schimminger’s bill was being pushed through "in the dark of night," as many as 600 homes and business would be confiscated and 2000 people made homeless, Niagara Street was going to be rerouted through a residential neighborhood, no one would have any control over the Authority once this power was granted, and there was no provision for public discussion of any of this.
This is a sin if it happenes. The people in Albany have not earn the repect to make this type of choice on our community.
Was Sam supposed to stay in contact with this matter?
NYS is out of control with our money and now blantantly with the community
June 24th, 2003, 12:04 PM
There is a bit of a publicity campaign going on here. From the article, the one individual is correct in saying that Sam likes to have as much positive press in the paper as possible. I know for a fact that those on Sam's staff, mostly interns, are responsible for saving any and all articles that pertain to Sam in the Buffalo News. Whether that's for archival purposes, I don't know.
But basically, is there a way to build a bridge without the use of eminent domain? Is Schimminger's plan any good? Sounds like a turf battle.
June 27th, 2003, 06:48 AM
Defending his Bridge blockade
Assemblyman Sam Hoyt was severely criticized by the Buffalo News and Buffalo Report after his June 14 press conference announcing that he would block the eminent domain legislation the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo and New York Public Bridge Authority had asked him to submit on behalf of the Peace Bridge Expansion Project directed by Vincent "Jake" Lamb.
Hoyt defended himself today in an email addressed to "Sam's Friends" and a statement, "The Peace Bridge and the Power of Eminent Domain," both of which are printed below.
The two Buffalo Report articles on Hoyt's actions were "Sam Hoyt Declares War on the Peace Bridge" (17 June 2003) and "Sam Hoyt Peace Bridge obstruction updates: Hoyt stages Albany hissy-fit, wins big, screws Buffalo" (23 June 2003). The Buffalo News editorial was "Peace Bridge Planning: Power of eminent domain is a needed step toward a great and dramatic crossing" (18 June 2003).
In the last week there have been several articles in the media regarding the push by the Public Bridge Authority for eminent domain and my role in this matter - specifically my efforts to delay the vote on this bill. Much of what has been reported has been either slanted or inaccurate.
What is accurate is that the Public Bridge Authority is seeking the power of eminent domain so that they may seize property on the lower west side to make way for a new bridge and plaza - potentially more than 500 homes depending on the final plan. I have been discussing this matter with the PBA for some time as I evaluated this bill and whether or not I would seek to pass it this session. Although some of the issues have been resolved, many of the most important issues remain yet to be answered.
For example: how will homeowners be compensated under this plan? Assessed value of their homes? Fair market value? What about compensation for renters? I have received phone calls from people who live in the affected area who are under the impression from the PBA that they will receive one and a half times the assessed value of their home. What about School 18 which would be demolished under one of the plaza plans? How will the city be compensated for the loss of property tax dollars? The affected area has the highest rate of asthma in all of Western New York. What will be done to mitigate the health impacts from increased air pollution? Exactly when will the power of eminent domain terminate?
I am committed to resolving these issues and assisting the Bridge Authority with passing this legislation when the next legislative session resumes in January. I have asked the Chairman of the Assembly's Corporation, Authorities and Commissions Committee to hold public hearings on this matter in Buffalo this summer. This issue is too important to rush, and taking our time and doing this right will not delay the process for even one day. Considering that we are still nearly a year away from the completion of the public process that will result in the final plan, and that the final plan must be submitted to and approved by the Federal Highway Authority, the Public Bridge Authority is well more than a year away from even being able to use eminent domain.
Attached is a guest column on this matter. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or wish further clarification.
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