Could the Buffalo Common Council do away with the Office of Mayor in the City?

The Council is in fact studying a change in the city’s form of government which would abolish the Mayor's Office.

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WIVB-TV is reporting that University councilman Rasheed Wyatt says Buffalo is one of the poorest cities in the country,  and Governance at city hall has also been the same for some 40 years and it is time to change.

“I think it would be insane for us to continue with this same form of government that has not yielded the results that we would have thought,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt says Buffalo should look at abolishing the office of mayor in favor of a city manager who would answer to the common council.

“This model, I think over time, will prove itself that it could be the model that could help us turn that tide so we are not talking about being the third poorest city in the nation,” he added.

The common council approved Wyatt’s resolution, to study a possible change in the city’s form of government.

Mayor Byron Brown says, the person who manages the city’s affairs is the mayor...

“Well there is a huge difference,” Brown said. “The mayor is elected by the people, is directly accountable to the people.”

Of the 62 cities in New York and about a dozen have a city manager – but only two of those cities are run without a mayor.

“Currently everybody votes for the mayor,” UB political science professor Shawn Donohue said. “What would replace it would be, if you can get five of the nine common council members to agree on the city manager, they would pick who is in charge.”

Donohue also points out city manager form could make governance less democratic.

He also says the change would require a referendum, and that is not likely this election cycle.

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