The BFSA heard presentations from representatives of the school district, the budget department, the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, and the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, as well as a cash flow report from acting comptroller Andy SanFilippo. The school district's four-year plan was praised as being especially well-done. "I commend you (Superintendent Marion Canedo) and your staff for the vast improvement in the quality of the material and on working with (BFSA executive director) Dottie Johnson and her team. There is nothing more important than the education of our children," said Bob Wilmers. Tim Wanamaker, executive director of the Office of Strategic Planning, talked about addressing problems of inefficiency and mismanagement at BURA. John Faso told him to feel free to make cuts to improve efficiency. "You come to us to ask to spend. Go ahead and cut. You really should leap on it." Sharon West of BMHA said simply, "We have a balanced budget."
The sharpest criticisms were reserved for the city's plan. "We do not believe that you have submitted a plan to us. We hope that the board doesn't go forth with a hole and with hopes that it will be filled," Board President Tom Baker insisted. He wanted a declaration of need from the city. Mayor Anthony Masiello said that he expected to have difficulty getting the declaration of need approved by the Common Council. But he said that he would request a declaration of need for $8.2 million. Baker responded, "You haven't filled the gap. Do it now." Masiello shouted, "We want a balanced budget. I'm the mayor of Buffalo! I'm issuing a declaration! Approve the plan and move on."
Criticism of the mayor also came from the audience, many of whom were firefighters and building inspectors. According to the city's plan, 146 firefighter positions will be lost. Also to be laid off are 75 percent of the city's building inspectors. One member of the audience shouted out, "Tell the truth." Masiello looked directly at the audience and said, "I tell the truth. I tell a lot of truths up here." Before the start of the meeting, union leader Kevin Fitzgerald said that the building inspectors were "looking for reasonable cuts that wouldn't affect the quality of work." He suggested a cut of five to ten percent as being reasonable. Joe Foley, head of the firefighters union, expressed his "concern over the control board and the mayor's lack of concern for safety." He said that the union offered concessions that would have saved more money than the city is now looking to save. The firefighters' plan included no layoffs. "It's very disturbing. They won't talk to us." He pointed out that the firefighters in danger of losing their jobs have risked their lives daily in the performance of their duties.
The BFSA directed the mayor to return a revised plan by October 15. According to Johnson, there must be recurring revenue sources found to close the gap for all four years covered in the city's financial plan.
According to Faso, "The control board stands between the city and bankruptcy. These are not pleasant tasks, but this has to be done." by Alice E. Gerard
The Buffalo Fiscal Stability Board, Mayor Anthony Masiello and his finance department, and city unions all appeared to be headed for an enormous clash of wills. This struggle became very obvious at a well-attended and contentious BFSA meeting on October 7 in the auditorium of the Central Library.