Buffalo Common Council Summary: Week of October 31, 2022

Buffalo Common Council Summary: Week of October 31, 2022

Date: November 7, 2022

By Rose Thomas |

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 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.

The Council thanked the Department of Public Works ("DPW") for creating a 2022-2023 snow plan for the City of Buffalo ("the City") with a front-facing GPS during the Caucus Meeting. Council President Pridgen asked for a brief demonstration at the Regular Meeting, and Council Member Wyatt asked Francisco Guzman, Acting DPW Commissioner, about fixing the floors at the Edward Saunders Community Center. Unfortunately, a previously used contractor went out of business, and the materials once used are no longer available through the manufacturer. Later, Council Member Wyatt requested Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority ("NFTA") representatives join discussions about adding bus shelters.

During the Regular Meeting, the Common Council approved and appointed Nathan Marton as the new DPW Commissioner. Council reviewed the department's 2022-2023 snow plan for the City and sent the agenda item to the Community Development Committee for further discussion. Francisco Guzman provided a short presentation on behalf of DPW to demonstrate how the front-facing GPS would allow Buffalo residents to view the estimated time it will take snow-plowing services to complete an area. Residents unable to track vehicles on www.buffalony.gov/snowfleet can contact 311 for further assistance. 

Council Member Golombek expressed concerns about what residents should do if there's illegal parking on the street that could hinder a snow-plowing service. Guzman reassured Council Member Wingo's concern about senior citizens and access to snow plowing services due to the inability to move their cars. He stated that he would consider that and discuss this further at their next meeting with the Department of Parking and Inspections to help senior citizens who cannot move their vehicles on the street receive plowing services. 

Council Member Golombek later spoke on the food deserts in the City, especially Riverside, and how a new grocery store opening on 284 Ontario would be an excellent way to combat this issue. He stated that the reason for people overlooking this is due to the distance to Wegmans and Tops. However, about 30% of residents in the 14207 area don't even own a personal vehicle to drive about one mile. Golombek anticipates Buffalo Fresh will help residents overcome this disparity. 

Council adopted a resolution to request an update on COVID premium pay to front-facing employees for the City of Buffalo. Council Member Scanlon noted that a new update to the American Rescue Plan allows municipalities to pay these employees, which kept departments running.

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