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Buffalo Common Council Meeting Summary for Jan. 25, 2011 | Politics

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Buffalo Common Council Meeting Summary for Jan. 25, 2011
Politics
Buffalo Common Council Meeting Summary for Jan. 25, 2011

Call for an Education Summit in the City of Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Buffalo Common Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members Demone A. Smith and Michael P. Kearns and co-sponsored by Council Members Richard A. Fontana and Darius G. Pridgen calling for an educational summit to be held to discuss the issues affecting and to identify options for improving, the quality of education in the City of Buffalo Public School System. 

The City of Buffalo Public School System suffers from low achievement and is consistently among the lowest producing school systems within New York State (“NYS”).  With an overall graduation rate of around 60 percent, students who drop out of school are much more likely than their peers to become unemployed, live in poverty, receive public assistance, be incarcerated in prison, have health problems, be divorced, and/or be single parents of children who tend to become school drop-outs. 

The Council maintains that the education of City of Buffalo students must be a top priority and that an educational summit designed to bring together education stakeholders, would provide an appropriate venue for developing a framework for improving the City of Buffalo Public School System. 

The Council is calling for the education summit to be scheduled for the spring of 2011 and to include representatives of: the NYS Board of Regents, the NYS Commissioner of Education, the Chancellor of the NYS Department of Education, the Superintendent of the Buffalo Public School System, the Buffalo Board of Education, teachers and school personnel, institutions of higher education, mental health organizations, crime prevention agencies, and parent and community organizations.

Home Rule Message—The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Masten District Council Member Demone Smith supporting New York State Assembly Bill #A00612 which would allow the City of Buffalo to adjudicate traffic infractions, which are presently adjudicated by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.  Passage of the bill would benefit the City of Buffalo by permitting all traffic related violations occurring within the City of Buffalo to be adjudicated in a convenient location within the City of Buffalo.  Further, by allowing the City to participate in and receive traffic infraction revenue, the City would be placed on an equal footing with other cities, towns and villages in the State of New York who have been granted the authority to adjudicate traffic infractions occurring within their corporate limits. 

Call for the Creation of a Complete Streets Coordinator— The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Member Demone A. Smith calling for the creation of a new Complete Streets Coordinator position, to be shared by the City’s Office of Strategic Planning (“OSP”) and Dept. of Public Works (“DPW”), whose duties would include comprehensive citywide planning, implementation of the City’s Complete Streets Policy which was adopted in 2008, and regularly interacting with and reporting progress to the City’s Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Board.   Pursuant to this adopted resolution, the new Complete Streets Coordinator would be required to be credentialed with a minimum of a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning, Urban Design, Traffic Engineering, or a related field, and would need to have a minimum of one year of professional experience implementing, or advocating for, Complete Streets, Traditional Neighborhood Design and/or Context Sensitive Design policies. The Complete Streets Coordinator would serve as a liaison between City Departments, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, and governmental and private transportation agencies, be tasked with the creation of a new citywide Streets Design Manual policy guide for public space improvements, oversee the integration of the Complete Streets Policy with the Land Use Plan and Transportation Strategy that the City is currently developing as well as other planning initiatives, and oversee grant applications to support the Complete Streets Policy. The City Clerk was directed to provide certified copies of this adopted resolution to the Mayor, OSP, DPW and the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council. 

Support for the Establishment of a Common Council Mentorship Program— The Council adopted a resolution co-sponsored by all nine Common Council Members voicing support for the establishment of a mentorship program in collaboration with City of Buffalo high  schools.  Recognizing how important it is for students to have positive role models both in and outside of school, under this mentorship program, each Council Member would adopt a particular high school and spend time mentoring three or four students from that school.  This initiative would provide students with an opportunity to learn about how government operates, while providing them with positive role models and an opportunity to develop their leadership skills. The City Clerk was directed to provide copies of this adopted resolution to all City of Buffalo high schools and Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. James A. Williams.

Approval and Endorsement of Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s Grant Application—The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Member Michael J. LoCurto which approves and endorses the application of Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYS DEC”) for a grant under Round 10 of the Urban and Community Forest Program.  If the grant is awarded, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy will utilize this funding for their “Tree Inventory and Management Plan: System Wide Inventory Updates and Tree Maintenance” project.

Revision of the Preservation Code—The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Member David A. Franczyk directing the Corporation Counsel to draft an amendment to Section 337-4(c)(1) of the City Code that would add language stating that "A quorum (of the Preservation Board) shall consist of a majority of the members. All decisions of the Preservation Board shall be made by a majority vote of the full membership. All decisions of the Preservation Board shall be made within 45 days, or such longer period of time as may be agreed to by the applicant consistent with this ordinance, but if the Preservation Board fails to act within 45 days, such failure to act shall be deemed a denial of the application."  Additionally, pursuant to the adopted resolution the Corporation Counsel shall draft an amendment to Section 337-21(c) of the City Code so that it shall read, "In case of a denial (by the Preservation Board), the Preservation Board shall state the reasons therefore and shall make recommendations concerning changes in the applicants proposed action that would be ground for reconsidering the application. An applicant may amend an application while it is being considered by the Preservation Board, but not reapply until at least six months from the date of the denial."  The Council’s amendments are being drafted in legal form to allow for subsequent adoption by the Common Council.

Sale of City Owned Property—The Council approved the sale of the following City owned properties:

  • Fillmore District
    • 1067 Genesee Street was sold to Creative Structures Services for $8,500  
    • 59 Guilford Street was sold to Mr. Wayne Williams for $1,400  
    • 166 Rother Avenue was sold to Mr. Mohammad Abdul Muiz for $1,500  
    • 129 Stanton Street was sold to Ms. Justine Thompson for $1,700  

Appointments

  • The Common Council adopted the appointment of the following individuals to the cited positions:
    • Lauris Robinson as a voting member of the Shared Asset Forfeiture Fund Advisory Committee (SAFFAC)
    • Crystal Rodriguez as a voting member of the Police Reorganization Commission (PRC)
    • The Council appointed the following individuals to positions within the Ellicott District Common Council Office:
      • Vernee Shaw was appointed to the position of Legislative Assistant
      • Deborah Tucker was appointed to the position of Legislative Aide
      • Felicia Williams was appointed to the position of Intern VI
      • The Council approved the appointment of the following individuals to positions within the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works at a step above the base salary:
        • Heather Murray was appointed to the position of Dog Control Officer
        • Michael Milovich was appointed to the position of Program Coordinator
        • Raylena Cunningham was appointed to the position of Senior Rate Clerk
        • The Council approved the appointment of the following individual to the position of Parking Meter Mechanic within the City of Buffalo Department of Parking at a step above the base salary:
          • Francis Tronolone III
          • The Council accepted the appointment of the following individuals to a position within the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works at the base salary:
            • Laborer II
              • Francisco Casillas
              • Bernard Chaney
              • Derek Koonce
  • Senior First Class Stationary Engineer
    • Kevin McCarthy
    • The Council accepted the appointment of the following individual to the position of Real Property Appraiser within the City of Buffalo Department of Assessment and Taxation at the base salary:
      • Bogusia Carroll
      • The Council accepted the appointment of the following individuals to the position of Parking Enforcement Officer within the City of Buffalo Department of Parking at the base salary:
        • David McMamara
        • Emanuel Reid

License and Permit Approvals—Upon the recommendation of the Department Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications:

  • Ellicott District
    • Sidewalk Café License
      • Kings Court Lounge located at 189 Delaware Avenue 
      • Fillmore District
        • Second Hand Dealer License
          • Lucky Market II located at 729 Sycamore Street
          • Lovejoy District
            • Second Hand Dealer License
              • Aaron’s located at 1673 Broadway
              • Masten District
                • Food Store License
                  • Pee Wee’s Variety Store located at 2319 Main Street 
  • Used Car Dealer, Scrap Processor & Wholesale Junk Dealer Licenses
    • Ben’s Tire Center Inc. located at 550 E. Delavan Avenue 
    • North District
      • Permit to Erect Pole Sign
        • A. Komanecky, agent of property located at 1700 Kenmore Avenue 
        • University District
          • Restaurant Dance Class III License
            • Visions Club and Bar Restaurant located at 289 Austin Street 
  • Permit to Erect a One Story Masonry Store & Fence Exceeding Height Restrictions
    • A. Komanecky, agent of property located at 3364 Bailey Avenue 

 

The Council denied the following license application:

  • University District
    • Restaurant Dance Class IV License
      • PJ Bottoms located at 3270 Main Street

 

Claims, Contracts, Change orders & Agreements

  • Upon the request of the Mayor of the City of Buffalo, the Council:
    • Authorized the Mayor to execute a formal waiver of the City of Buffalo’s potential administrative expense claims against the trustee of the Statler Towers which include property tax related claims of approximately $189,675 and safety measure related claims of approximately $34,000.  The Council also authorized the Mayor to execute support waivers of administrative expense claims which include sewer charges of approximately $9,775 and water charges of approximately $80,454.  By approving this waiver, the City’s claims against the Trustee in Bankruptcy for the Statler Towers will be transferred to the yet to be selected purchaser of this property.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning (“OSP”), the Council:
    • Authorized OSP to designate Belmont Housing Resources of Western New York (“WNY”) and/or the Housing Development Corporation as redeveloper of the property located at 858 East Ferry Street.  The property was acquired by the City of Buffalo in 1992 through a tax foreclosure proceeding and Belmont Housing Resources of WNY intends to construct a new thirty (30) unit rental townhouse development on the property at an estimated cost of $6.6 million.  The redeveloper designation will be for a period of one year and will be subject to various terms and conditions.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”) the Council:
    • Authorized DPW to hire a consultant to provide design, bid, and construction phase services for the rehabilitation of waterline insulation, leak repairs, and waterline replacement over the Kensington Expressway.  The cost for the consultant is estimated to not exceed $150,000 and the cost of the construction is estimated to be $1 million.
    • Authorized the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter to accept $20,550 in funds from Maddie’s Pet Rescue Project, a family foundation established in 1999 to help fund the creation of a no-kill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed a loving home.  The Maddie’s Pet Rescue Project will be providing the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter with $15,150 in subsidy funds and an additional $5,400 for surpassing its adoption goals.  The funds will be used towards shelter growth and to promote the Animal Shelter by advertising for foster homes, adoption events, purchasing new equipment, attending workshops and veterinary expenses.
    • Authorized the purchase of one Chevy 2010 Silverado Pick-up Truck for the amount of $28,010.  The vehicle will be used by the City’s Division of Buildings, be marked according to City requirements and will not be utilized as a take-home vehicle.
    • Approved the Release of Retention held by the City for its contract with Wendel Energy Services for the Traffic Signal – Energy Performance Project.
  • The Council approved the reports of bids from the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works for the following projects:
    • The Polonia Hall Roof Reconstruction Project.  Of the bids that were received, Weaver Metal & Roofing was the lowest with a bid of $163,665.

 

Transfers of Funds

  • Upon the request of the City Clerk, the Council authorized the transfer of:
  •  
    • $3,500 from the City Clerk’s Contractual Services appropriation line, to the Common Council - Legislative Function Hourly Salary appropriation line.

 

Salary Ordinance Amendments

  • Upon the request of the Commissioner of Administration and Finance, Policy and Urban Affairs, the Common Council authorized the: and creation of the following job titles:
    • Elimination of two (2) Junior Collection Officers at a salary of $31,084-$34,255
    • Creation of One (1) Junior Collection Officer and one (1) Laborer II at the respective salaries of $31,084-$34,255 and $22,070-$34,139 for an annual savings of $116 at the highest salary step.

 

For any questions, concerns, or further information regarding the above, please contact your District Council Member, the Common Council Legislative Staff Office, or the respective City Department.

To view replays of a Common Council Meeting please visit the City of Buffalo Government Television website at www.city-buffalo.com/Home/Government_TV.

To view the final Common Council Meeting agenda and/or supporting communications, please visit the City of Buffalo website at www.city-buffalo.com and select the Common Council link.

 

BUFFALO COMMON COUNCIL

David A. Franczyk

Council President

Fillmore District

1315 City Hall

851-4138

David A. Rivera

President Pro Tempore

Niagara District

1504 City Hall

851-5125

Richard A. Fontana

Majority Leader

Lovejoy District

1414 City Hall

851-5151

Michael J. LoCurto

Delaware District

1405 City Hall

851-5155

Darius G. Pridgen

Ellicott District

1408 City Hall

851-4980

Demone A. Smith

Masten District

1316-A City Hall

851-5145

Joseph Golombek, Jr.

North District

1502 City Hall

851-5116

Michael P. Kearns

South District

1401 City Hall

851-5169

Bonnie E. Russell

University District

1508 City Hall

851-5165

Common Council Legislative Staff Office

1413 City Hall

851-5105

 

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