When the City Council voted last month to ask the state to improve its designs for a proposed reconstruction of the Scajaquada Expressway through Delaware Park, Joel Feroleto — who represents the Delaware District — was the only person to vote against an improved, more pedestrian-oriented design of the roadway. Observers were baffled why he would vote no on an urban design that would have transformative benefits for his district in particular.
Urban planning activists are livid. Most activists would prefer that the project is stopped altogether rather than build something that will be more detrimental to the city’s flagship public space, and unfairly imposed on the city for another 60 years.
During his first year in office, Feroleto outraged small business owners along Hertal Avenue after he voted to fast track a massive parking tax increase without first consulting them. They stormed the Hertel Avenue Small Business Association until the Councilman agreed to repeal the legislation for which he voted to waive a 30-day aging requirement in order to ‘push it through.’
The seat isn’t up for reelection until 2019, but among operatives names are already being floated for the Council seat. Among them the tastefully styled Lisa Yeager, a Parkside Attorney and former State Senate staffer who has distanced herself from the political machine led by the embattled G. Steven Pigeon.
Amber Small, the bright, energetic, and well poised Executive Director of the Parkside Neighborhood Association, is a supporter of ‘a civilized Scajaquada,’ and is seen as a strong contender. She ran for State Senate last year and performed strongly among Democratic voters in North Buffalo and the Elmwood Village, but her ties to Mayor Byron W. Brown did not bode well in the suburbs.
City Treasurer Michael Seaman is also rumored to be considering the race, as is Ellen Mendelson-Reese, a well connected North Buffalo attorney and animal rights activist.