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Candidates Night: One Good “Party” to Have Missed

Resigned Ellicott Councilman Brian Davis allegedly lead protest, Democratic Chair Len Lenihan removed for his own safety.
Last week, Ellicott District Council seat hopeful, Marilyn Rodgers, respectfully declined an invitation, in a letter to the existing council members and Democratic leaders, concerning a “Candidates Night” that was held this past Friday.
The December 18th, closed-door forum was held by the Erie County Democratic Party Ellicott District Committee Members, a group that is responsible to provide a vote for approximately 9,000 individual voters.
Considering what happened there, according to this story on Western New York Politics, Rodger’s sense may have involved more than a simple wish to remain unbeholden by any one group.
Rodgers had declined the invitation, citing her emphasis on a non-political decision by the Common Council based upon the City of Buffalo Charter – Chapter C, Article 3, § 3-6 of the City Charter of Buffalo, New York on August 22, 2002.  This amendment, according to Rodgers, was approved by the voters at the general election held November 5, 2002, and stamped into law on December 6th, 2006.
In her letter, Rodgers stated: “No where in this legislation is it written that the Council will appoint a successor to the seat by ‘rubber stamp.’  I believe, wholeheartedly, that if we do not abide by the original purpose of this legislation, as authored by an individual who was eliminated in his bid for the seat due to the “rubber stamp” of local politics, we do wrong for the people of the district.  Therefore, this morning, I sent a Certified R/R/R letter to Mr. Zellner stating I would not be participating in the forum on Friday.”  
She continued, “A few individuals in a room that is not accessible by The People are making decisions that will influence the entire Ellicott District and our city, overall.  I have stated I will not seek political endorsements.  This disenfranchises the voting public. Therefore, I do not see the need for attending this closed-door event that perpetuates the politics of the past that have contributed to the stagnation and decay to our city for decades.  This is my way of affecting a small manner of change while keeping my word regarding endorsements.”
Most members of the Common Council have stated they are seeking an individual who is independent from political circles.  Rodgers says she wishes to reinforce the Council’s intent that is reflected in the City Charter.
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