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Mayor, Council Seek to Complete Fiscal Plan Revisions

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Mayor Masiello's revised four-year financial recovery plan is due to the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority Wednesday. Common Council members met in regular session Tuesday, but have called for a special meeting this morning in an effort to finalize their plan of action.

Revisions to the Mayor's four year plan were sent back to committee at Tuesday's Council session. Instead, Council president James Pitts says he has called for a "committee of the whole," asking all Council members to attend. Pitts says they will continue to examine the Mayor's proposed job cuts and fire closings, and make their own suggestions.

"There have been a lot of questions raised about some of those cuts. A couple of them we dealt with today," Pitts explained. "But the idea is to go through that list, find out where there is agreement. If there is disagreement, we then need to come up with some way of satisfying those concerns as well as the requirements needed for control board."

Last week, the control board asked Masiello to revise his plan and "button up" an $8.2 million budget gap. WBFO News asked Pitts how much lawmakers have been able to trim so far. He says they are now down to a $2.1 million gap.

"That is the number we are looking at this particular point," Pitts said. "If you consider some of the line cuts, there are issues involving union contracts, issues involving bumping, and none of those things have been presented. So we've asked that that information be presented to us so that we know what decisions are being made."

Wednesday's meeting will include city Finance Commissioner James Milroy. Pitts says he's not sure if the Mayor would ask the control board for more time to submit revisions once he receives the Council's suggestions.

Last Friday, board chairman Thomas Baker did indicate that if there is an need for a little more time, it would probably be granted.