I just walked into City Hall and spotted Mayor Brown about to leave the building on a bicycle. He was headed to the medical campus for a press conference. It's National Bike to Work Day. But aside from that, Brown announced the city is adding 10 more miles of bike lanes this year, for a total of 80. He also said the city's bicycling master plan is just about done. It outlines a network of bike lanes and paths prioritized for investment. A public hearing on the plan is set for 6 p.m. May 21 in the downtown library auditorium.
Plenty of wrangling going on in these final days of budget talks.
Lots of back and forth over whether Buffalo police are adequately trained in light of Ferguson and Baltimore. There's talking about racial sensitivity and firearms training as well as riot and protest preparedness.
Police brass at Common Council budget hearings are saying they're on top of it, that training has been ongoing, and is continuing.
Police union leaders have a different story, telling the Council that cops are under trained and under equipped.
"We are getting two very different answers," said South District Councilman Chris Scanlon.
The council decided to ask police brass for training schedules and an equipment inventory.
And they'd like it by noon Monday, since the council's scheduled to vote Tuesday morning on Mayor's Brown 2015-2016 budget plan.
There's also lots of talk going on over possibly including a participatory budgeting pilot in the budget.
Talk as of yesterday was to set aside $300,000 for the pilot. Any interested councilman could contribute
an additional say $5,000 each to help pay to administer the program.
When I left the council offices Thursday, participatory budgeting proponents were camped out in front of Council President Darius Pridgen's office hoping to win him over.
Participatory budgeting allows the community to directly participate in the budget process, deciding how a limited amount of tax money is being spent. Residents attend neighborhood brain storming meetings to offer ways to spent the money, then participate in a special vote to determine which projects get funded.
Here's the Website with more information.
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