BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–With residency rules making recent news, the union representing Buffalo Firefighters is claiming that the Fire Commissioner doesn’t really live in the city, and the administration is not completely denying it.
“The information was provided to us, we provided it to them. Now the information is out.”
Buffalo Professional Firefighters Union President Vinny Ventresca says he received the 70 page investigation anonymously this week with documents and even photos claiming that Fire Commissioner William Renaldo lives in the Town of a Tonawanda and not in the City of Buffalo like he’s required to.
“If he’s not gonna reside in the city , then how can you tell 500 of the members of the fire department that they have to live in the city,” Ventresca said.
City spokesman Mike DeGeorge says when Renaldo was first sworn in, he had a six month waiver to move in. Then he was having a house built on Taunton in the city. DeGeorge says Renaldo has now been trying to sell his home on Louvaine Drive in Tonawanda so he has been maintaining both residences.
“He resides in the Town of Tonawanda. He has done so for his entire two-year tenure. This is not a “Gotcha, it’s been six months and a day.” It’s been a long period of time, he has not made any attempt,” Ventresca said.
If we were to draw a line between these two homes, one is only two blocks that way into the Town of Tonawanda. The other is two blocks this way into the city, but Ventresca says it’s a fine line that the Fire Commissioner should be well aware of.
“To become a Buffalo firefighter, you have to live in the city, reside in the city for 90 days prior to taking the exam. You have to live in the city for the entirety of your career,” Ventresca added.
Mayor Brown says, “He spends most of his time in the City of Buffalo and he meets the residency requirement.”
“I think he should be removed. I think since he’s not a resident and pretty much skirted the issue and not lived in the city for two years. He’s had every opportunity to move in. Either there’s a rule if there’s not a rule. Either there’s a City of Buffalo Charter or it’s not to be followed,” Ventresca told News 4.