Who's in charge at City Hall this week?
With Mayor Brown gone most of this week, doing whatever it is the New York State Democratic chairman does at the National Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, I was wondering: Who's in charge at City Hall in Buffalo?
"Pursuant to Section 4-4 of the City of Buffalo Charter, I will be out of state from Sunday, July 24, 2016 through Friday, July 29, 2016," Brown wrote in a memo filed with the Common Council.
"I hereby designate Corporation Counsel Timothy Ball to perform the mayor's duties in my absence," Brown wrote.
And there's the answer, the city's top attorney is in charge.
Labor peace/labor strife
I stopped by the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Board - aka the control board - Monday and heard a rundown on labor contracts in City Hall.
City government has settled contracts with its four major unions, and two smaller ones, covering almost 2,500 workers. The only things not settled are a crossing guard contract covering 118 employees and the Operating Engineers contract covering 13 workers.
At one of the city agencies, The Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency has a contract with its 31 unionized workers.
The labor situation isn't as rosy at the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, with four union contracts - covering 156 employees - expired and unsettled.
And the Buffalo Board of Education situation is somewhat similar, but on a bigger scale. We know the teacher contract remains unsettled, but so are the contracts with school administrators, teacher aides, substitute teachers, white-collar workers, blue-collar workers and custodians.
There are settled contracts with bus aides, and food services workers.
So that's settled contracts covering 764 full- and part-time school district employees; and unsettled contracts for 5,955 others, including 3,633 teachers.
Today's Calendar Items
Council committee meetings - Civil Service, Finance, Community Development, Legislation - followed by full Common Council meeting, scheduled as the final one before the Council's August break.