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Common Council Items of Interest

For those of you who can’t make it to the weekly Common Council meeting,
following is the briefing. From this week’s meeting as provided by the
council:

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.

The 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.
 
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. 
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.

Photo: Common Council Members Demone Smith (3rd from right), Bonnie Russell (2nd from right), and Darius Pridgen (1st from right) present members of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity with a proclamation honoring their 100th Anniversary.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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