More dissension erupted Tuesday over operations at the Broadway Market, as an Erie County lawmaker involved in past disputes proposed a county takeover to prevent what he called a "financial meltdown" at the East Side landmark.
At the same time, a board member who abruptly resigned last week denied the lawmaker's claims that her departure was sparked by a conflict of interest.
Paula Alcala Rosner said she resigned because her husband is ill and her workload as an economic planner in City Hall has been increasing.
The debate occurred one day after city officials disclosed that they issued emergency aid to prevent a power shutoff at the market. Facility managers blamed the latest crisis on the county's delay in issuing a $106,000 check that they claim they were promised six months ago.
But County Legislator Gregory B. Olma, D-Buffalo, among those replaced as market board members last year, said the funding has been held up because there are legitimate questions about how the board plans to use the aid and about the facility's long-term financial future.
"They're making this $106,000 sound like it's a miracle drug. But this isn't penicillin. It's not going to cure the infection," said Olma. "The Broadway Market faces a financial meltdown if something isn't done."
But Olma confirmed that at least part of the county funding will be released later this week.
Last year, the market was on the brink of insolvency as unpaid bills threatened to force a shutdown. The city made an emergency appropriation, and the board was revamped. Olma charged Tuesday that the "so-called reforms" have been nothing more than a "power play" by the city.
"I think it's time to talk about a county takeover of the market. It's clearly a regional asset. The county has more resources than the city and . . . more vision," said Olma.
But Fillmore Council Member Karen R. Ellington, who represents the district in which the market is located, said she would vigorously oppose any county takeover of the city-owned facility.
"The city has been paying the bills and fighting the fight at the Broadway Market for a long time," said Ellington. "Where was the county before?"