Buffalo Common Council Summary: Week of November 13, 2023

Date: November 17, 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. 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, Regular, and Claims Committee meetings. ‘Council Member’ is abbreviated as CM; ‘Council President’ as CP; and ‘Majority Leader’ as ML.

The audio recording for this week’s Caucus Meeting was poor quality, so we weren’t able to summarize the meeting.

During the Regular Meeting, the council received and sent to the Legislation Committee the Affordable Housing Task Force (AHTF) Report. “It is full of ideas to help with affordable housing and to help with the rising costs legislatively,” noted CP Pridgen, who suggested that people read it. The AHTF is composed of activists, attorneys, landlords, developers, tenants, and more. CP Pridgen said that he intended to turn each of the report’s recommendations into an actionable resolution. CM Wyatt commended the committee and its ideas.

At the Claims Committee, Corporation Counsel Cavette Chambers and others from the Law Department offered to answer questions about lawsuits in which people are suing the city and other claims. She noted that some discussions would require the council to go into executive session since they are ongoing legal matters. CM Wyatt asked about a case of alleged police assault which the city is proposing to settle for $27,500. He asked why there was not body cam footage of the incident, which began with the plaintiff’s car being stopped. At this point, the council went into executive session because the case is ongoing. When they returned, they recommended approval for all the proposed settlements and payments.

Here are some of the claims before the committee. They voted to send these on to the full council for approval: