News roundup: Beck and Mallow double team Cox and Bialkowski
Reporter Joanne Beck got a little spitfire and sass out of City Council President Charlie Mallow in an article that turned from good intentions to bad vibrations.
Beck's story opens with the headline: "Mallow's mission: Get city financially solvent in the next 18 months and then call it a day." Mallow tells her that he is "going to take care of the budget ... and then hand off the city in better financial shape for someone else to take care of" — and the article seems to be very much about that: Mallow's plans to save the city from itself.
The story takes a sharp turn, however, when suddenly Councilman Bob Bialkowski shows up and quickly assumes the role of the anti-Mallow.
Mallow's four-year term is up in 2009. Despite his belief that "I'm going to do what's right every single time," he's been accused by at least one councilman of not doing right. After Mallow abruptly shut down Councilman Bob Bialkowski at Monday's conference session, Bialkowski shared his thoughts about the leader-at-large.
Bialkowski told Beck that Mallow is "making up his own rules" and that he "had something other to discuss" but was prohibited to do so by Mallow, who is quoted later in the article as saying: "Sometimes you have to shut your mouth."
Mallow contends that Bialkowski should recuse himself from voting about the mall sign since Bialkowski's wife is the mall manager and stands to gain financially if the city purchases a sign for the Mall Merchants Association. There is no indication that Bialkowski was given a chance to respond.
Instead, Beck quotes more Mallow, who is anything but subtle about his opinion of Bialkowski: "I believe [Bialkowski] wants to put the city in a weakened position to benefit the mall merchants."
After quoting Mallow as saying that Bialkowski should "shut his mouth," Beck moves on:
[Mallow] would like to see that kind of silence more often from Bialkowski and Bill Cox. Both councilmen brought up — or attempted to discuss — issues that had nothing to do with city business, Mallow said.
Bialkowski and Cox brought up two issues: excessive bird droppings on the City Centre roof and legal fees for the city attorney. Cox said that he tried to get both items included on the agenda but was refused.
City Manager Jason Molino said the bird droppings were an issue for the mall. As for the legal fees, Mallow said: "A majority of council" already said it didn't want to discuss such costs.
Cox is never quoted in the article. Nor does Beck indicate that she made any attempt to give Cox a chance to respond.
Also in today's Daily News:
- Mother's Chicken-n-Fish plans to add a dining patio and spruce up the landscaping around its Ellicott Street restaurant.
- The May 19 house fire in Byron that was responsible for the death of Cheryl Reis, her son, Timothy, and her two daughters, Emily and Virginia, has been ruled "undetermined." Byron Fire Chief John Durand told the Daily News: "If we haven't determined a cause by now, I doubt it will become anything other than undetermined."
- Officials in the towns of Batavia, Elba and Oakfield have agreed to look further into the possibility of sharing court facilities. Step one: get state approval.
- A pair of fun features can be found on the front page and in the local section today. Matt Surtel writes about the 4-H Fashion Show that was held yesterday at the Genesee County Fair. And Virginia Kropf is back for another Around the Towns, this one about the Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum. Kropf vows to write more articles on museum's in the area, so we can look forward to more.
As always, we encourage folks to pick up their own copy of the Daily News at area newsstands. Or, better yet, subscribe online at BataviaNews.com.