BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority, better known as the control board, costs city and state taxpayers more than $1 million a year. Its job, since it was imposed by the state in 2003, has been to keep an eye on Buffalo’s finances.
But during the past eight years, it has done nothing to stop Mayor Byron Brown and the Common Council as they’ve drained the city of more than $100 million in reserves, leaving City Hall with nothing in the bank to close budget gaps.
In six of the last eight budget cycles, the Brown administration has depleted its reserves to cover deficits caused by consistently overestimating revenues and frequently underestimating expenses.
Any of those deficits might have prompted the control board to crack down on City Hall’s budgeting practices. It has chosen to remain in “soft,” or advisory mode.