Buffalo Common Council Summary: Week of March 4, 2024

Date: March 8, 2024

by PPG Staff
Each week, PPG summarizes important takeaways from the major Buffalo Common Council meetings. We also include information from council meetings related to our Community Agenda items. If you want to learn more about how the council meetings work and how you can get involved, check out our guide.

For this summary, we will report on the Caucus and Regular meetings. ‘Council Member’ is abbreviated as CM; ‘Council President’ as CP; ‘President Pro Tempore’ as PT; and ‘Majority Leader’ as ML.

In the Caucus meeting, CM Nowakowski asked Brown administration representatives if they could send the new City Historian to come meet with the Civil Service Committee. “I didn’t even know we had a City Historian,” he said.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Regular Common Council meeting began with a tribute to the work of author, historian, and community activist Eva M. Doyle. “If you want to know anything about local Black history,” she said, “give me a call!”

The Mayor’s office proposed several mayoral appointments, including the City Historian, Lindsey Lauren Visser, and a new Poet Laureate. Aitina Fareed-Cooke will succeed the previous poet for the city, Jillian Haynesworth. Nathaniel Barnes was appointed to the board of the library. The council sent these, along with police and fire department appointments, to the Civil Service Committee.

New York State granted the city $2 million to build a “play garden” at the new Centennial Park, which the council voted to accept. The council also approved of a grant, using American Rescue Plan funds, to the Buffalo Center of Arts and Technology. This will be used, in part, to offer workforce training and stipends to students in medical fields. They also moved along four resolutions concerning rental arrears programs (which would help people with past due payments); these will be discussed in the upcoming Legislation Committee meeting.