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Usually I am a compassionate person but somehow I couldn’t prompt my inner being to offer a sympathetic sigh yet alone agree with most of his statements. Over the years we have sent other councilmen to Albany to represent us common folk in the august chambers of the assembly and the senate. Ah! Those big red leather chairs in the New York State Senate have warmed many important buttocks, why the fact of the matter is that three former occupants went on to become Mayor of the City of Buffalo and lo and behold the economic ball kept rolling downhill and in some aspects picked up speed.

I would never doubt the sincerity of our newly elected state senator and I think his integrity is unimpeachable but somehow the best intentions of our elected representatives is slowly but surely infected by the virus known as the status quo and to date no one has developed a vaccine to counter its deadly effects. Some erudite students of New York State government have observed that our vintage state constitution has allowed this virus to spread throughout the entirety of government in New York State. Senator Coppola addressed this observation and did say that one of the remedies for this virus would be to call for a Constitutional Convention for New York; but alas as an individual senator his hands are tied.

What comes to mind for me is that it is time to get our other representatives like Mary Lou Rath and Dale Voelker off their buttocks and let a breath of fresh air reach their behinds so they can start working on a solution and come to grips with the disease they have allowed to fester these many years in our legislative halls. Now if it takes a new constitution to right the ship of state we citizens will have to play a greater part than what we have been doing for the past 60years and demand that this legislative session push the levers of government and start the process for a Constitutional Convention.

Globalization forces upon us change that is not only uncomfortable but injurious to our preconceived notions of economic well being. As wealth becomes more and more concentrated at the top percentile and our middle class shrinks and the shadow of the Asian rim puts us ever more fully in its shadow we will have to change our present way of thinking and operating government. New York State government is not only dysfunctional and running from reality because of its love of the status quo; but our elected representatives have gotten very comfortable living as house cats rather than having to actually work for their next meal. Let us hope that Mr. Senator Coppola can raise enough hell in the next eight months to draw more attention to the fact that we need to discuss a new state constitution. by Flora Nerk

One has to love the State of New York to continue to reside within its boundary lines; but then when it really comes down to the nitty gritty most of us will have to admit that the only reason we don’t pack up and move is that we just don’t have the getaway money. Now money isn’t everything but it certainly does help to have some when you get the munchies and the food pantry has run out of cake.

Just the other day I happened to catch the newly elected state senator from the fair City of Buffalo, Marc Coppola, formerly the Delaware district councilman as he waxed eloquently about nothing in particular but everything in general. If I heard correctly he told of his exciting days as a councilman but complained how his hands were tied because of past practices and a control board that stifled innovation and progress. Terrible how these elected representatives have been so constrained by state laws that forced them to sit on the sidelines and watch as the western region of New York State and the cities of Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester fell off the face of the earth.