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Meet Buffalo's new interim comptroller

Posted at 12:50 AM, Apr 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 01:01:55-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The City of Buffalo has a new interim comptroller.

The common council voted to appoint Erie County Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams, a Democrat, to the post. She replaced Mark Schroeder, who left the job in January when he was appointed by the governor as the state's commissioner of motor vehicles.

“I am grateful to the Buffalo Common Council for their support and trust in my ability to effectively lead the Office of Audit and Control," Miller-Williams wrote in a statement. “As Interim Comptroller, I will continue my decades-long commitment to the City of Buffalo and all of its residents. With the right smart-growth, long-term financial planning, Buffalo’s best days lie ahead, and I look forward to using my skills and proven leadership to continue our City’s resurgence into the future.”

Miller-Williams has served as a city police officer for 30 years and in the U.S. Army Reserve. She also previously served on the common council.

Her appointment did not sit well with the city's acting comptroller, Vanessa Glushefski. An accountant and an attorney, Glushefski was Schroeder's deputy comptroller, has been doing the job since she left, and made a public push to be appointed. She took her frustrations to Facebook, delivering a searing critique of the common council and Miller-Williams.

Still, Erie County Democrats are backing the council's choice.

"The job of city comptroller has never been held by a certified public accountant, because this position requires a certified public servant with true leadership skills and a deep knowledge of local government," wrote Jeremy Zellner, chair of the Erie County Democratic Committee, in a statement. "That is what Barbara Miller-Williams brings to the table."

Zellner previously backed Glushefski in her failed bid to unseat Republican Stefan Mychajliw in 2017. At the time, he called her "one of the most qualified Comptroller candidates in the history of Erie County,”

Zellner said his next priority is filling the vacancy in the County Legislature created by the appointment. Democrats will convene Monday at the New Covenant United Christ Church, 459 Clinton Street, to vote on a recommended successor.