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Department heads answer city council questions

January 16, 2013

City council members questioned both Director of Planning and Development Steve Neratko and Public Works Director Anthony Gugino at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting....

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Jan-16-13 8:21 AM

Thank you, Mr. Michalski now all our questions regarding the Bertges building have been answered, lol

Again I'll follow up on my comment yesterday a follow up question wasn't in order here? Like "how is it that the comptroller said this wasn't eligible and HUD says it is?" or "Was the comptroller in error is this an allowable project?"

the leadership in this community is a joke. "is that payment ok?", "yes", "ok thanks" you gotta be kidding me its an embarassment either the project is good or it isnt. if it isn't the we should sell the property immediately. if it is we should demand that it be removed from the Audit by the Comptroller to clear the air once and for all

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Jan-16-13 9:12 AM

A question was asked why an employee got two hours overtime to order chlorine. Gugino goes into a spiel about understaffing. Now I ask you what does ordering of chlorine have to do with understaffing? Wake up council the employees are making a mockery of the city and you cannor see it. What other business that you know of allows their employees to wait until the end of the year and then take their vacation time. Thus forcing the company to go into overtime? None. Just another example of the unions running the city.

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Jan-16-13 9:34 AM

It seems to me that vacation and pesonal time should be allowed at the dicretion of the department head with the primary concern being the functionality of th department. TRANSLATION - unions continue to run the city - why do we need a mayor, department heads and council?

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Jan-16-13 10:15 AM

it amazes me how Gugino wines and keeps his job,never does he take responsibility for gross spending on labor,yet the former and present mayor do nothing but sing his praises,maybe he should be referred to as "Teflon Tony" from now on

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Jan-16-13 11:14 AM

Benny1, the Comptroller's Office and the HUD Office are two seperate entities. If HUD says it is an eligible expense, which it has, then it really doesn't matter what the Comptroller has to say about it. HUD trumps Comptroller in that situation.

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Jan-16-13 12:22 PM

foreveratownie - thanks for the insight, seems like by that logic the comptrollers report should be filed under "meaningless" - the way you read about it in this paper and hear the mayor talk about it you'd think it held some teeth. Begs the question of why is was the comptroller auditing a HUD program then if HUD is "OK" with the main item in the audit seems like a cluster

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Jan-16-13 1:50 PM

foreveratownie:Who ever you may be, I will refer to a question asked by Rich Halas as a former member of the DLDC at The DLDC's November 28,2012 meeting.Rich asked whether or not the DLDC should continue to make payments on the Bertges property with CDBG funds if the audit says they shouldn't be. Steve Neratko point out that the Comptroller's Audit and the HUD Audit are two separate things and they will not necessarily line up.Lambrose from Hud has said property acquisition is an acceptable CDBG expenditure. They did not have issue with the acquisition. but how it was done-without an appraisal, tearing down etc. Mr. Harry Sicherman the consultant hire by the city to help straighten out the problems of the DLDC, and who was a former HUD enployee, has said that he thinks the DLDC should get more involved in property development.Rich then asked if a meeting could be set up between HUD and the DLDC to talk about the audit, Steve said that he would ask, but was doubtful that HUD would be

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Jan-16-13 1:56 PM

(cont) interested in talking to a sub-recipient. When I was on council and also a DLDC member, to my knowledge The Buffalo Hud Office approved every move that was made. Maybe Buffalo's HUD Office should be Audited

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Jan-16-13 3:21 PM

here is the way it works. A politician is in office for a finite period of time. Eventually the politician or appointee will be out of public service. Now these folks need to eat so they make sweetheart deals while in office thus insuring a highly paid position when they enter the civilian world.

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Jan-16-13 6:43 PM

I don't want to question Mr. Gugino's judgement but there is one nagging question that haunts me. If the public works department has been so short of laborers how were they able to dedicate an employee to the Memorial Park project, full time, for about two years? Was tht employee not needed for ordinary department duties? As for the $50,000 to pay for the Bertges property, I still have not heard a reasonable explanation. Either HUD is wrong or the state comptroller's report is wrong and they should be pushed for an answer. What is the basis for Mr. Neratko's opinion?

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Jan-16-13 10:47 PM

Rumblefish hit the nail on the head. Gugino slithers his way out of everything. Never held accountable for anything. We hear all about the overtime abuse going on in the city but never hear about anybody being held accountable for the abuse. And where is the cities management team for these meetings. 6 more people hiding in the shadows abusing the overtime but staying out of sight.

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Jan-17-13 1:00 PM

browneye: management team, who are the 6 people you are refering to? The City has Department Heads who over see the various departments. They all are required to attend the Council meetings.

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