Brown denies Buffalo’s fiscal woes

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown refused to talk with Investigative Post about the city’s fiscal plight for a story published last week, but he couldn’t dodge WGRZ’s Dave McKinley.

The mayor’s response, included in a story that aired Monday, was a mix of arguing semantics and making misleading statements about city reserves. And, as if to underscore her lack of independence from the mayor, City Comptroller Barbara Miller-Williams issued a press release intended to assure the public that all is well with city finances. This wasn’t the first time she attempted to cover for Brown during her brief tenure in office.

The reality: City Hall has burned through all its reserves available to cover budget deficits and borrowed money provided by the Board of Education to help pay its bills the first half of this year. The deficits are the result of poor budgeting by the mayor and lack of independent oversight by the Common Council and city Control Board. It’s been going on for years and shows no signs of abating.