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CitiStat to Begin in Buffalo Next Month

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo plans to implement its new computer tracking system called CitiStat next month. It's been in the planning stages for the past year and a half. It's designed to help the city better manage its services while holding department heads and employees more accountable.

Mayor Anthony Masiello announced in his State of the City address Friday that Citi-Stat is ready to go.

"We will implement CitiStat next month," Masiello said. "It will enable Buffalo to better manage its citizens' service calls while improving accountability of city workers. We will be more responsive to citizen needs."

Under CitiStat, city employees will be asked to provide data, which will then be compiled by a computer program. For example, a housing inspector would be on the lookout for signs of criminal activity, even though it's not an official part of their jobs.

CitiStat has been used by the city of Baltimore, saving millions of dollars a year. North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, who first championed Citi-Stat, says it needs to be done right.

"I hope it's going to be implemented more under the Baltimore model," Golombek said. "In Baltimore, it had real teeth. They fire people. If people aren't doing their jobs, they get rid of them. They hammer people. And that's what they need to do here in Buffalo.

"If there's not going to be any teeth behind it, it might as well not be implemented.

Golombek said CitiStat would be especially effective in monitoring sick time abuse, which has been a particular problem in some departments of city government. He said the cost of implementing CitiStat will be minimal since the city already has the equipment and software on hand.