Buffalo Common Council Holds Biennial Reorganization Meeting

January 3, 2012 Updated Jan 3, 2012 at 8:11 PM EDT

By WKBW News

...

Buffalo Common Council Holds Biennial Reorganization Meeting

January 3, 2012 Updated Jan 3, 2012 at 8:11 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) The City of Buffalo Common Council held its biennial reorganization meeting Tuesday to elect its new leadership, amend its rules of order and appoint new chairpersons to its committees.

The biennial Common Council meeting is held to reorganize the Council’s leadership structure and assign Council Members different roles and responsibilities.

This year Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana was elected by his colleagues to serve as the Council President, Masten District Council Member Demone A. Smith was elected to serve as the Council Majority Leader, and University District Council Member Bonnie E. Russell was elected to serve as the Council President Pro Tempore. Each Council Member will serve in their new capacity for a term of two years while still maintaining their respective duties as District Common Council Members.

“Having worked with and looked up to many Council Presidents, it is a sincere honor to be elected by my colleagues to the office. A strong, independent, and proactive legislative branch of government is and always has been my vision for the Common Council, Fontana said”

“I look forward to serving as President Pro Tempore of the Buffalo Common Council," Russell said. "Once again, I begin another elected term as the only female serving on the Common Council and I am proud to join Council President Richard Fontana and Majority Leader Demone Smith as we start off our new leadership; professional, committed and focused on the issues and the people we serve in the City of Buffalo.”

Following the leadership appointments, the Council amended its Rules of Order to include: reduction in the amount of full-time employees in District Council Offices to two people, resulting in savings from healthcare and pension costs; enhancement of the duties of the Council President Pro Tempore; and reduction in the salaries of Common Council Staff employees, saving City taxpayers more than $40,000.

Masten District Council Member and Council Majority Leader Demone A. Smith said, “I look forward to further serving the constituents of the City of Buffalo.”

After the Council amended its Rules of Order, Council President Fontana appointed Council Members to the following regular and special Common Council Committees:

Regular Committees
•    Civil Service
Chair: Council Member Bonnie E. Russell
Members: Franczyk, Kearns, and Smith
•    Claims
Chair: Council Member David A. Rivera
Members: Golombek, LoCurto, and Russell
•    Finance
Chair: Council Member Michael P. Kearns
Members: LoCurto, Pridgen, Russell, and Smith
•    Community Development
Chair: Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr.
Members: LoCurto, Pridgen, Rivera, and Smith
•    Legislation
Chair: Council Member Darius G. Pridgen
Members: Franczyk, Golombek, Rivera, and Russell
•    Rules
Chair: Council Member Richard A. Fontana
Members: Russell and Smith

Special Committees
•    Budget
Chair: Council Member Demone A. Smith
Members: Golombek, Kearns, Pridgen, and Rivera
•    Education
Chair: Council Member Demone A. Smith
Members: Golombek, Kearns, and Pridgen
•    Minority Business Enterprise
Chair: Council Member Demone A. Smith
Members: Golombek, Rivera, and Russell
•    Police Oversight
Chair: Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr.
Members: Franczyk, Rivera, Russell
•    Transportation
Chair: Council Member Michael P. Kearns
Members: LoCurto, Rivera, and Russell
•    Waterfront Development
Chair: Council Member Michael P. Kearns
Members: Franczyk, Golombek, and Smith