Buffalo Common Council Summary: Week of May 23, 2021

Buffalo Common Council Summary: Week of May 23, 2021

Date: May 28, 2021

By Orlando Dickson 

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.

This week the Common Council held two meetings: the Caucus meeting and the Regular meeting. A Caucus meeting is where members from a specific political party, in Buffalo's case, the democratic party, meet, but official voting on issues does not occur. The Regular meeting is the Common Council's primary meeting, where they make official decisions on issues.

During this week's Caucus meeting, the Council discussed whether they should approve budget transfers for construction work at the Buffalo Science Museum and Construction work on Washington Street without sending them to a committee vote. The Council stated their intention to transfer the funds from other budget lines to cover the costs as long as it does not cost the city extra money. Though the Common Council already approved a final budget, the Council can always approve budget transfers requested by the administration throughout the year as necessary.

The Council stated they worked out all of the remaining issues with changing the Budget Fund Balance legislation to allow for reserves for unexpected spending.

The Common Council signaled their intention to install trailblazing signs for Allison Michelle Turner and Gwendolyn White Zinermon. Both residents of Buffalo have passed away, and the Council recognizes both women as community leaders.

During an uncharacteristically short Regular meeting, the Council amended and updated Buffalo's flood prevention laws. The legislation regulates the use of properties subject to flooding, increases requirements for flood prevention in initial construction, and regulates flood barriers.

The Council President stated that the Common Council is still engaged in moving forward the conversation and taking action on police reform. The Council expects to discuss more reforms at the next Police Oversight Meeting.

The Council also approved removing the Speed Zone Cameras again by a majority vote to dispel any potential issues with the procedure from the first vote. The vote went exactly as it did the first time: the Council voted 6-3, a supermajority approval, with Wingo, Scanlon, and Golombek voting no. 

The Council, in an ordinance amendment sponsored by Wingo, signaled their intention to change sanctions and fines related to operating a food store without a license in the City of Buffalo. The ordinance amendment amends Section 263-29-1 of the Code of the City of Buffalo to clarify the illegality of operating a food store without a license. The ordinance amendment will create a $75 to $150 fine for every day an unlicensed food store remains operational. The Council sent the amendment to the legislation committee for further discussion.

The Common Council meetings were likely short this week because of the extra Common Council meetings due to the Budget Season. Common Council meetings should return to their typical lengths and times next week.


Need more than just a summary? Contact us at info@ppgbuffalo.org, or find full meeting information and schedules here: http://buffalony.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx.