Buffalo Common Council Summary: Week of September 4, 2023

Date: September 8, 2023

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.

For this summary, we will focus on two meetings, the Caucus Meeting and the Regular Meeting.  ‘Council Member’ is abbreviated as CM; ‘Council President’ as CP; and ‘Majority Leader’ as ML.

This was the first week back after the council’s August recess.

At the Caucus meeting, Chief Engineer Nolan R. Skipper of the DPW Division of Engineering said he’s waiting on the Comptroller’s office for American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to continue with planned and contracted work. DPW is responsible for roads, sidewalks, and curbs. He assured the council that by the end of this week, DPW would mark the school zones with crosswalks and striping.

During the Regular Meeting, CM Feroleto spoke up about a house on Amherst Street that the city sold in a foreclosure auction. The former homeowner lost the house because they owed $350 in user fees. CM Feroleto wants the surplus funds from the auction to go to the former homeowner’s family (as she’s passed away) rather than the funds staying with the city. The council sent the item to the Community Development committee.
The Mayor’s office added two special assistants and hired a new Chief of Staff.
The Finance Dept filed a report on how the city’s spending its ARP funds, and the comptroller’s office submitted a report on how the city is spending its capital funds. Both reports were sent to the Finance Committee. The Buffalo Traffic Violations Agency Annual Report for 2022 was received and filed.
The council approved the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) contract with the unions that represent its employees.  
The council discussed the proposal to change the name of Broderick Park to Freedom Park to recognize its role in history and its continued importance as “a spiritual place,” in the words of CM Wingo. ML Rivera said that there would be a public forum for community members to discuss this.