© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Buffalo lawmakers debated downsizing staffing

Buffalo Common Council discusses staffing issues
WBFO News photo by Ashley Hassett
Buffalo Common Council discusses staffing issues

There was heated debate during Tuesday's Buffalo Common Council session.

With anticipated leadership and majority changes expected in the New Year, lawmakers said they planned to downsize Council staff positions.

Under the plan, each council member would no longer be allowed to have a third full time employee who receives benefits.

North District Common Council member Joseph Golombek said lawmakers should be able to operate their office with two employees.

"We should consistently have three people for each council member, which I don't believe that we need. We didn't need when we had a city of 600,000 of 500,000 or whatever. I don't think now, when each of our council districts are about 28,000, that we need a third person," said Golombek.

Golombek said in tough times the best decision is to make cuts and do more with less.

South District lawmaker Michael Kearns says he disagrees. He said he questions the majority's decision when there are over 200 vacant jobs funded in the city budget.

'When you budget something that means you already allocate it. You're paying extra taxes, because really we're never going to fill those positions. To personally attack our offices is in a front to the tax payers, it's in a front to me. It's despicable and I'm going to call people on it," said Kearns.

Kearns said some council districts are larger than others and it should be up to the council member on who they decide to hire.

An internship program has been proposed in order bridge any staffing gaps.