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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: January 9, 2018

Mayor Brown Announces New Appointments to Administration

New Appointments OTB VM 2018

January 9 - Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that the Buffalo Common Council has approved his appointments of Vincent Muscarella as Commissioner of the City of Buffalo Fire Department (BFD) and Otis T. Barker, Sr. as the Commissioner of the City of Buffalo Department of Community Services and Recreational Programming. 

Mayor Brown stated, “My bold agenda for Buffalo will continue over the next four years and all of the appointments including the newly appointed individuals today, will work closely with me and my administration to deliver results, from managing our finances and resources, to ensuring our City’s safety, to delivering quality services to our youth and residents, to continuing to seize opportunities to build a better future for all Buffalo residents in this City of Opportunity.”

Fire Commissioner Muscarella is a 27 year veteran of fire service, the last 21 of which he spent with the City of Buffalo. He was appointed to firefighter in 1996 and graduated from the recruit academy later that year. Muscarella was promoted to Lieutenant in 2009, and Captain in 2013.  In July of 2016, after an extensive search process, Mayor Brown appointed then Captain Muscarella to Deputy Commissioner of Buffalo Fire Operations, a position in which he has faithfully and successfully served since such time.  In addition, in furtherance of his management and leadership skills, Deputy Commissioner Muscarella has become a New York State certified fire instructor and a Master Instructor with the International Association of Firefighters. His place as a preeminent instructor was solidified this year when he was selected to teach at the Fire Department Instructor Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mayor Brown charged Muscarella with ensuring the safety of Buffalo’s residents and firefighters, increasing diversity among the ranks, and maintaining the department’s commitment to swift response times in neighborhoods across the city.
“Vincent Muscarella is a creative, hard-driving administrator in the Buffalo Fire Department and has served in an integral role in the Department’s efforts that have enhanced fire safety and prevention in neighborhoods Citywide,” said Mayor Brown. “He joined the Buffalo Fire Department 21 years ago and has distinguished himself with hard work, dedication to duty and has risen through the ranks because of his commitment to successfully carry out his duties. He has proved to be a great leader of the Department and I know he has what it takes to lead the BFD forward.”
Fire Commissioner Muscarella stated, “I’ve worked with the courageous men and women of the BFD for over two decades, and I couldn’t be prouder to lead this team. Mayor Brown has outlined a strong vision for the future of this department—one that continues to prioritize public safety—and I look forward to making this vision a reality.”
Community Services Commissioner Barker  brings extensive community services and recreational programming experience to the Brown administration, spearheading such initiatives as Mayor Brown’s Summer Youth Internship and Employment program, Mayor Brown’s summer literacy program “Reading Rules”, and Game Changers, an intense basketball training and life skills development camp for city youth.  Barker was appointed as the City of Buffalo Director of Youth in the Department of Community Services and Recreational Programming on January 1, 2006. On March 4, 2011, Mr. Barker was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Community Services and Recreational Programming, a positon in which he has faithfully and successfully served since such time.   

“Otis has spent every day for the past twelve years helping to build the Department of Community Services and Recreational Programming, and I know he’ll continue to do this officially as Commissioner and will further enhance the quality of life for all residents of Buffalo,” said Mayor Brown, noting that Commissioner Barker has helped to grow and strengthen his summer youth internship and employment program, which has provided over 22,000 job opportunities to city youth over the past 12 years.  Barker has also helped to expand Mayor Brown’s summer literacy program which has resulted in nearly 15,000 Champion Readers since 2006. And, he continues to oversee Game Changers, a powerful, free Basketball Training and Life Skills Development Camp for city youth.

“I am honored that Mayor Brown appointed me to the position of Commissioner for the Department of Community Services and Recreational Programming.  With the support of the Buffalo Common Council, I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Brown and the rest of his team as we further build on the tremendous momentum that’s underway across the City of Buffalo,” said Commissioner Barker.

Mayor Brown today also announced that the Common Council approved the reappointments of the Department heads that require confirmation.  They are as follows:
• Timothy A. Ball, Corporation Counsel
• James Comerford, Commissioner of Permits and Inspections Services
• Daniel Derenda, Commissioner of Police
• Donna J. Estrich, Commissioner of Administration, Finance Policy and Urban Affairs
• Kevin Helfer, Commissioner of Parking
• Gladys Herndon-Hill, Commissioner of Human Resources
• Steven J. Stepniak, Commissioner of Public Works, Parks and Streets

Mayor Brown concluded, “Each has served the City faithfully and is duly qualified for reappointment.  I am very proud of the leaders of my Team at City Hall.”

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