Mayoral candidates hold second debate

Aug 23, 2013

Familiar issues like crime, education and economic development were debated as the Mayoral candidates met Thursday night in an event hosted by the Parkside Community Association.

Mayor Byron Brown and challengers Sergio Rodriguez and Bernie Tolbert debated the issues Thursday night.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The candidates were asked about helping neighborhood business districts. Republican Sergio Rodriguez says the problems reflect job problems.

"The communities on the East Side and the West Side of Buffalo are the ones that are hurting the most from the lack of employment. In fact, folks, our employment base has been reduced by over 10,000 people since the mayor got elected," Rodriguez said.

"We had 116,000 people in the City of Buffalo working in 2006. Now, we have 106,000."

Democratic challenger Bernie Tolbert says the principal agency to help neighborhood businesses folded under the mayor.

"Part of that reason that we can't develop businesses is because we lost the Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corporation," Tolbert said.
"Neighborhoods are the key to the fabric of our city. And, we must do all that we can to not only preserve them but we have to develop our neighborhoods. Under the current administration we've not had the ability to do that."

The Mayoral debate drew a large crowd to Saint Mary's School for the Deaf.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Mayor Byron Brown defended his record, saying that he has delivered for the City of Buffalo.

"We've cut the commercial tax rate by almost 28-percent in the City of Buffalo, making it a more affordable place for businesses to invest and to do business in the City of Buffalo," Brown said.

"I don't think we're heard anything that the other two would do."

The auditorium was packed and crowd members were showing their support for their candidate or opposition to another.