BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo's Common Council has until next week to respond to Mayor Brown's recently proposed 2018-2019 budget plan.
And they're hoping to get as much public input as possible.
The council held its second and final public hearing on the matter Tuesday night.
There were two big concerns throughout the night.
Some groups think the city's public schools deserve a bigger piece of the pie.
Others are demanding the council take $5 million from the police department's budget and reallocate it for projects selected by the community.
"We think it's not just important for the public to have a say but it's important for the public to be able to make decisions on how that money is spent,” said Brian Borncamp of the Clean Air Coalition of WNY.
Common Council President Darius Pridgen says these types of “participatory budget” programs happen all the time on a district level in the city.
But he says expanding the scale may be a bit trickier.
"I'm not against it. I'm just not sure at this point with raising taxes, with raising user fees and not having a dedicated revenue from the casino whether we can take $5 million dollars at this point and do participatory budgeting,” said Pridgen.
The Buffalo police department is responding to calls for a budget reduction. A spokesman released the following statement:
"There are additional items in the police budget this year that many residents have requested. Some of those requests include body cameras and tasers. Those items have to be paid for."