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Council Confirms Worthy, Other Top City Officials

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Common Council approved a new fire commissioner and reconfirmed other city leaders at Tuesday's session.

Calvin Worthy, appointed by the mayor, takes over the Buffalo Fire Department as the city faces some tough fiscal reform decisions. Commissioner Worthy says he's ready for the challenge.

"I will continue to provide and do the best I can for the Buffalo Fire Department and the City of Buffalo," he said.

The city wants the fire department to adopt the controversial Quint-Midi fire apparatus system, but the union remains opposed to the plan. Worthy says he's still gathering research from Rochester, the only city in the nation using the Quint-Midis.

"I'm still collecting data, I'm researching, and we are trying to formulate a plan," he said.

In other action Tuesday, the Council reconfirmed Buffalo Police Commissioner Rocco Diina. Diina is also facing potential manpower cuts within the police department to save the city money. But Diina says he supports a proposed plan to begin implementing one-officer patrol cars.

"Diina we've addressed all the concerns of safety factors," Diina said. "It is done in a majority of cities throughout this country and we should be doing it in the City of Buffalo." The plan is also facing stiff opposition from the Buffalo police union.

The commissioner dealing directly with the mayor on all difficult budget matters was also reconfirmed to her post Tuesday. Eva Hassett will continue as Commissioner of Finance.

"It's an incredible opportunity for this city government to show the residents and folks outside of this city that we can solve these problems, that we can get through this challenge," she said.

Council President James Pitts is calling for a series of public hearings to address a number of the fiscal reform proposals, including Quint-Midi and privatization of garbage and other city services.