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2012: The Year in Review

A new majority asserts itself on Buffalo’s Common Council, led by Lovejoy’s Rich Fontana and Masten’s Demone Smith, who are elected president and majority leader, respectively. The outgoing council president, Fillmore’s Dave Franczyk, said that he hoped Fontana would exhibit “the right character to animate that seat,” to exercise its powers as a check and balance to the executive branch. He quoted James Madison’s assertion from the Federalist papers that every branch of government must exhibit a will of its own. Franczyk hoped that Fontana would reach “deep into a well of integrity that I only hope is there. I don’t see any evidence of it, but I hope it’s there.”

The Year in Verse

2012, the pundits will say, was the year the Republicans threw it away.

Unemployment was high and Obama seemed weak; the economy, we feared, might start to look Greek.

Looking Ahead: Wishes and Prognostications

A. The local economy: Despite the fact that an important conference on local economies is held in Buffalo, Walmart will announce plans to build a large facility in the city which will include challenges to the new Green Code. Not many people will get the connection and opponents will be characterized as anti-growth NIMBY’s . The local faith community will come to Walmart’s defense, and someone named ALEC will craft a new law—the “Right to Shop Law”—which will go national and erode the opportunities for local decision makers to control development.

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