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Mayor, Common Council and other elected leaders in Buffalo could see 12% pay increase

Elected leaders in the city of Buffalo suggests a 12.63% bump in salary for the Mayor, Comptroller, Common Council and Board of Education in commission report.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Mayor Brown, the City Comptroller, the Common Council and the Board of Education could be getting a salary bump. 

A report submitted by the Citizens Salary Review Commission on April 27 recommended a 12.63% salary increase for elected leaders. 

The commission is supposed to meet every two years but did not convene during the pandemic. 

According to the city charter, the commission would have needed to submit a recommendation by May 1. The commission first met on April 21, held a public hearing on April 24, and submitted their final recommendations on April 27. 

"It's enough time insofar as it complies with the charter because it had to be done before that deadline," said David Franczyk. "They did it at a rather late hour, but our commission met for several hours per meeting."

Former Buffalo Common Councilmember David Franczyk was appointed chairman of the commission by the council.

"We looked at things like what the unions received and their salaries over the last four years," Franczyk said. "Now, that doesn't apply to elected officials, because they don't get things like overtime. Then we looked at the rate of inflation."

Franczyk said they also looked at the salaries of elected officials in cities like Rochester, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh to determine their recommendation. 

"We looked at the compensation of those elected officials, as well as what do the commissioners receive, like Commissioner of Police," Franczyk said. "We don't like to see staff making more money than the elected officials, and for many years, that was the case."

If the recommendations are adopted by the Common Council, the following elected leaders salaries would be:

Board of Education - $16,985 (up from $15,000)

Common Council Members - $84,472 (up from $75,000)

Comptroller - $134,593 (up from $119,500)

Mayor - $178,519 (up from $158,000)

The last time the Common Council approved a salary increase was in 2019. According to the city charter, a salary adjustment can not occur in the middle of an election cycle. 

While the salary recommendations are listed on the May 2 Common Council agenda, if the item was approved it wouldn't go into effect until January 2024. 

Prior to 2019, the last salary increase for elected officials was in 1998. 

Community organizer and University District Council candidate Kathryn Franco believes the recommendations will be adopted. 

"I do think that we're gonna see that their support for it," Franco said. "What I really think, though, is that folks should say no, especially right now, it is election season."

Franco told 2 On Your Side that the city charter should allow for elected leader performance should be evaluated in the salary review process. 

"What your goals were previously, have you met them?" Franco said. "I think that that would be something to incorporate here and give the public the opportunity to do that."

The commission consisted of 9 members, many of them connected to city politics.

The members of the commission were David Franczyk, Arthur Robinson, Peter DeJesus, Brian Manley, Alexandre Burgos, Maria Esquilin Granville, Kevin Helfer, Tom Vossler, Angela Bue, and Gladys Herndon-Hill.

University District Councilmember Rasheed Wyatt told 2 On Your Side that he along with his colleagues "will review the recommendation along with the city budget to see if it makes sense."

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