On February 15th, 2006, Free Buffalo, in conjunction with Speakupwny, presented a forum on various methods of county government. The symposium was held in the King’s Room at Hearthstone Manor, in Depew. Dr. Kevin Hardwick, a Professor at Canisius College and host of “Hardline with Hardwick”, moderated the event. Guest speakers included Alan Bedanko, Sam Iraci Jr., James Ostrowski, and Gregory Olma.
Alan Bedanko is an attorney, author, and driving force behind the websites WNYmedia, and Buffalo Pundit. Mr. Bedanko spoke on eliminating county government.
Sam Iraci Jr. is the former Deputy Mayor of the City of Buffalo. He is also the former City Manager of Elmira, New York. Mr. Iraci discussed the council-manager form of government.
|Sam Iraci, Jr.|
James Ostrowski is an attorney and the founder of Free Buffalo. Mr. Ostrowski discussed the advantages and disadvantages of Erie County’s prior Board of Supervisors.
Gregory Olma is a former County Legislator. He spoke on the advantages of the present form of county government.
The forum was conducted as an open, civilized, informational debate, followed by a question and answer session.
In addition to their chosen topics, all the speakers stressed two, common themes.
The first theme was the impossibility of totally eliminating party politics from any form of government.
The second theme was the need to mitigate party politics and corruption through public involvement in the political process. All of the speakers and many of the questioners repeatedly stressed the importance of an informed and involved public.
Videos of the forum are available in the Local News section of WNY Media Network. (Click Here. )
Articles on specific options discussed will be presented on Speakupwny in the near future.
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