I sat down with Masten District Council Member Demone Smith on Wednesday afternoon for a few minutes to talk about the new regional land bank application and the supporting legislation. The package is heading to Albany this week for the Governor Cuomo's final approval. According to Demone the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation (BENLIC) is characterized by strong regional intermunicipal cooperation and reflects the Governor's desire for local governments to address the issues of abandonment, sprawl and vacancy together.
Demone began our conversation with his take on Buffalo as a "shrinking city" and the need to focus assets and capital projects in core areas. Two years ago Artvoice posted a story about Buffalo's Demone Smith's thoughts regarding the intense public policy changes that have taken place in Youngstown, Ohio. Here's that post - Learning from Youngstown - Part II (January 2010).