Buffalo Common Council Summary: Week of June 26, 2023

Date: June 30, 2023

Written by Hannah Gabelnick, edited by Caitlin Crowell

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’s summary focuses on the Common Council’s Caucus and Regular meetings. In this summary, we will abbreviate “Council Member” as CM, "Council President" as CP, and "Majority Leader" as ML.
During the Caucus Meeting, representatives from the Department of Public Works noted that people can find information about street resurfacing, curb repair, and speed hump installation on their website.
Representatives from the Office of Strategic Planning spoke about demolitions in the proposed 2023-2024 Annual Action Plan. A rep explained that the city was prioritizing demolitions that pave the way for the construction of affordable low- to moderate-income housing, rather than demolitions targeted at blight reduction.
During the Regular Meeting, the Common Council approved funding for the Buffalo Police Department, including STOP DWI Funds from Erie County, which reimburses the city for alcohol traffic safety law enforcement activities, and the Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) Grant Award from the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services to combat gun violence in the City of Buffalo.
The council also approved the Buffalo Crossing Guards Association’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and a contract with CNC Technical Solutions. CNC Technical Solutions will provide workplace violence prevention and active shooter preparedness training for city employees. They also approved an agreement with the Police Athletic League of Buffalo to manage the Game Changers program.
The council voted to send the 2024 Capital Budget & Four-Year Capital Improvement Program and the 2023-2024 Annual Action Plan back to the Finance Committee.
The council unanimously voted to deny the Annual Action Plan amendment that would provide a $562,557 loan to Braymiller Market, the only downtown grocery store. CP Pridgen, CM Wyatt, CM Wingo, and CM Nowakowski expressed their support for this decision, saying that one business should not receive this much money when other small businesses are not receiving financial relief.
The council approved Bammel Architects’ plan to build a community garden at 205 Lombard Street that would provide no-cost or low-cost access to produce.  
The council approved decreasing the Deputy Mayor’s salary and increasing the Chief of Staff’s salary. The Deputy Mayor’s salary decreased from $154,500 to $148,000. The Chief of Staff’s salary increased from $133,946 to $138,000.
CM Nowakowski urged the Council to replace parking meters that were recently stolen, especially the meters that designate handicapped-access spaces. Lack of accessibility meters has created a significant issue and impact on the accessibility and safety of individuals living with disabilities. The Council adopted the measure.