Gitcher axe and grind it

30 Jul

Garrett’s stance is beside the point

Your newspaper has carried numerous articles regarding Harvey Garrett. I must say that it is symptomatic of Buffalo’s great malaise that a wealthy “housing advocate” can neglect the exterior of his house for a decade and still be portrayed in local media as a victim and a hero. I personally could not care less whether Garrett is now “standing tall” or sitting low provided he has a paint brush in hand and is complying with the same laws to which the rest of us (friends of judges or no) have been subject all along.

Paul Curtin

This is what we call “missing the forest for the trees.” But there are two Curtins in the City’s inspections services department.

Housing inspection case has been overplayed

When we were kids, it was commonplace to “pile on” one of your friends once they were down. It was easy to jump on the “big kid” once everybody else was on top of him. This very same scenario comes to mind with the Harvey Garrett-Ray McGurn inspection dispute.

The articles that appeared in the News anointed Garrett as a “hero” for his home restoration and his work as a “liaison” to City Housing Court. Indeed, Garrett’s restoration is being undertaken at a time when other homeowners have simply fled their obligation to do the same. And he has also served a vital role for Judge Henry Nowak as liaison between homeowners and the court.

However, Garrett is also a citizen of the city of Buffalo, subject to the same rules and regulations as the other Buffalonians. Garrett has also over stepped his bounds while “volunteering” in Nowak’s court. Although the notion of a liaison is eye-opening when it comes to City Hall’s way of doing things, Garrett has no authority to supercede the authority of building inspectors, nor does he have the right to bypass them in proceedings before the court.

Was Ray McGurn’s perceived “retribution” right? Probably not. But when you head up a division that has been barraged by cuts in manpower, clerical help, and resources, you too would probably like the opportunity to lash out at those who make light of your misfortune.

Dennis D. Kozuch

The point wasn’t whether Garrett had or didn’t have violatons, fellas.

The egregious part was that his case jumped to the head of a queue of 500 other, older cases. I’d bet dollars to donuts that anyone who defends Ray McGurn’s little fiefdom has an axe to grind.


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