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Report claims Buffalo Fire Commissioner violates residency requirement

Posted at 5:00 PM, Jul 23, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — An anonymous report sent to the Buffalo Fire Union Local 282 claims Buffalo Fire Commissioner Bill Renaldo does not permanently live in the City of Buffalo, which, under the City Charter, violates the residency requirement.

The nearly 70 page report meticulously outlines Commissioner Renaldo’s whereabouts in the beginning of July, citing his primary residence as an address on Louvaine Dr in the Town of Toanwanda.

The report also goes into detail on property records, taxes, voting records, even photos of Renaldo’s city car at the Town of Tonawanda home.

Under the City Charter, any appointed officer by the Mayor must permanently live in the City of Buffalo during his or her employment. As of 2013, all Buffalo firefighters are required to live in the city, even 90 days prior to taking the fire exam.

“We think he should be removed,” said Buffalo Fire Union President Vinny Ventresca. “He doesn’t live in the city.”

The report details Renaldo’s four various properties, including one on Louvaine in the Town of Tonawanda. The report lists that property as his primary residence since 2014.

“If you drive to Tonawanda every day and stay there with your wife you’re not a resident of the City of Buffalo,” Ventresca said.

The city and the report details property Renaldo owns on Louvaine Drive in Buffalo. City spokesperson Mike Degeorge says Renaldo just built that home, and is in the process of selling the house in the Town of Tonawanda. Degeorge says Renaldo is working with a private buyer.

“This isn’t a six month thing. It’s been two years,” Ventresca said.

“I don’t know if the report is accurate or not, I don’t know it’s from an anonymous source but it concerns me if anyone who is supposed to be living in the City of Buffalo is not,” said Common Council President Darius Pridgen.

The Buffalo Common Council has asked the city’s Human Resources department to come to the next common council meeting and explain how the city investigates residency complaints.