BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Another Buffalo Common Council member is looking to the City for answers following the blizzard, which we now know killed at least 43 people in Erie County. News 4 spoke with Mitch Nowakowski about what can be done to address this moving forward. In a letter addressed to Mayor Byron Brown, Nowakowski, the Fillmore District councilmember called for the City to create a panel to go over questions and concerns following the Christmas weekend blizzard.
This comes after the City announced the NYU Wagner School of Public Service would be holding its own study on Buffalo’s response and handling of the blizzard. Nowakowski said it will be great to have a third party review everything, but there also needs to be a meeting between the Common Council, City, County and State leaders. His main suggestion is for the city to create and hire an emergency manager position — someone who will oversee emergency and disaster preparedness.
“I’d like to point that there’s suburbs, like Hamburg and Amherst, who have a full-time emergency manager, who doesn’t just respond to the needs during that disaster, or after, but they’re planning and coordinating responses for whatever comes their way,” Nowakowski said. “And that’s really important the City of Buffalo has someone that can do that type of planning and really make sure we have a coordinated effort.” Nowakowski said it’s critical to be as transparent as possible with a report. Because of this, he said he’s hoping everyone can meet before the end of the month.