|If you're not already voting for Amber you will be after this...|
I keep hearing what a nice guy Chris Jacobs is. Oh it's a shame this campaign has gone negative, Chris Jacobs is such a nice guy... Well you know he's pretty popular in WNY, after all he's such a nice guy. The fact that his family has more money than god yet insisted on subsidies from the gubmint before they'd build their monstrosity HQ downtown with non union tradesmen notwithstanding, gosh darn it that Chris Jacobs is such a nice guy... Ninjas please.
I've never met the dude personally so I can only go on my observations of Chris Jacobs when he served as a member of the Board of Education in Buffalo. I often wondered how such a nice guy as Chris Jacobs was able to befriend an odious figure like James Williams whose legacy of bluster, bullshit and arrogance will likely stand until the next millenia as the worst Superintendent B-lo has ever hired. The alleged friendship between Jacbos and Williams was something of a standing joke among B-Lo's more streetwise eduplayers who saw it more as a case of the kitty trying to hang with the cat. It was rumored Jacobs picked up the tab on the many occasions the two were spotted strapping on the feedbag at the Chop House. Rumored yes but judging by the way the "friendship" played out on the public stage it wasn't hard to imagine Jacbos whipping out his Am Ex card saying you just get the tip ok, James? Omar Little of The Wire sagely advises us "The game is out there and it's play or get played." James Williams played with the best of them and Chris Jacobs, hapless sod that he is couldn't help but get played.
Remember the Jacobs moment when Chris's bestie was caught trying to sneak out of town and land the Memphis Superintendent's gig without ever mentioning it to his BFF?
...Williams is a serial job-jump applicant, who has secretly applied or interviewed for jobs in Atlanta, Dallas, Hartford, Durham, and Memphis, startling his board each time, both in Dayton and Buffalo. “I was surprised and shocked he would even consider leaving at such a critical time,” a somewhat naïve-sounding Chris Jacobs told the Buffalo News. “I feel like I was kicked in the stomach.”
You were, Chris. Jacobs and board member Florence Johnson have been Williams’ strongest defenders. Jacobs even publicly lied for Williams, holding a news conference in May to insist Williams never suggested in executive session that McKinley High School volunteer basketball coach Michelle Stiles was a lesbian, only to have Williams later admit to special investigator David Edmunds that, in fact, he had... from Artvoice
A "somewhat naive sounding Chris Jacobs" he's called. That was more than kind. He lied for the dude and JW coudn't even bother to clue his homie in that he was looking to break camp and bounce. Let's just stick with "naive" then as it's a lot kinder than calling our nice guy a dumbass. If Chris was only naive about his "friendship" with Jaws we could write it off to any number of things. But do you remember when Chris Jacobs got out his little notebook and drew up a plan to relocate the Police and Fire Departments and the string of blue chip non-profit service groups along Delaware Ave into quarters at The Broadway Market? I'd almost forgot about this but that's why blogging makes you smart, you find shit you weren't even smart enough to look for. Now remember Chris is a guy who loves the charter schools and the privatization movement and pretty much anyone with a snazzy zipcode and serious bank. You can't miss it when you read his urban planning manifesto. The following was a piece by Stephanie Perry published in Artvoice in 2014:
Private developers would make a killing on these new apartments and condos and return a bit under $800,000 annually to the city and county tax bases so that the city and county might provide services to the public, such as centrally located and publicly accessible police and fire departments, except not that anymore. Never mind that the city budget alone totals $1.4 billion. This is a plan to help the community help rich people help the community.
It would be nearly impossible to propose a more transparently self-serving plan to redistribute real property wealth to developers while simultaneously displacing organizations that have tirelessly served the community and maintained the architectural heritage of the Delaware District for decades. Plus, the short-sighted proposal is stock full of faulty assumptions about urban planning, crime and private property rights. Furthermore, the author’s inappropriate use of first-person perspective, sentence fragments and the conspicuous absence of facts together evoked the tone of a hastily composed high school civics project. I wondered who produced such an implausible, socially irresponsible and poorly written report. Was this the homework of some Rich Kid of Instagram?
In a textbook example of the sheltered rich guy issuing his world view it's clear that the proles and plebians best hope is to stand clear while their social superiors decide their fate. Jacobs’s list of nonprofits ripe for relocation is glaringly classist in its aims. The awesome mansions occupied by various non profits along Delaware would be vacated for the good of the ruling class who really never should have allowed them to fall into unclean hands in the first place. Chris Jacobs doesn't think groups like The Red Cross, United Way, International Institute, Child and Family Services, Salvation Army, EPIC and the Catholic Center belong in mansions on Delware. Their clientele are kind of icky. On the other hand though, non-taxed entities with very fine real estate are omitted from his plan: Nardin Academy, Canisius High School, the Ronald McDonald House, the Jacobs Executive Development Center, Gilda’s Club, the County Clerk’s Office itself. Downtown, Elmwood and the Medical Corridor are too nice for poor people, according to Jacobs’s vision. This is your "nice guy's" idea of an urban plan. Still think he's swell?
And if Chris Jacobs getting played by James Williams then cooking up a redesign for Buffalo that would have Thorstein Veblen and F. Scott Fitzgerald both spinning in their graves, there's more where that came from folks. Consider Chris Jacobs' campaign promise to sail into Albany for his first term and convince the entrenched nest of vipers, thieves and cutthroats to go along with him on setting term limits that would put them all off the gravy train in the time it takes Bills fans to end up in a video on Deadspin Sunday morning. Hey welcome to Albany Chris Jacobs, your uncle is the 185th richest guy on earth and you want to impose term limits on the rest of us? Sure. Say, Chris, we're taking some guys out on a snipe hunt, do you have your hood and your net with you...?
If you care about public education you need to vote for Amber Small. While speaking at BTF's Council of Delegates meeting last month she said she thought teachers should be better paid and public education should be better funded. Small spoke of losing her mother at an early age and being driven to school events and activities in high school by her teachers. It was clear Amber Small has experienced first hand the positive effects of dedicated and caring teachers in her life. She is a friend of teachers and of public schools. We couldn't ask for a better ally in Albany.