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Brown fires City Hall trouble-shooter

Carla Kosmerl, a key behind-the-scenes player in City Hall, was fired Friday.

Her official title of late was director of administration and finance with the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, but over her six years she wore a lot of hats and was assigned a lot of the most thankless tasks in City Hall.

She began under Tim Wanamaker focused on the city's use of block grant funds and oversaw an overhaul of the city's relationship with housing agencies it funded. She was assigned an ever-growing list of duties -- including director of housing and fair housing officer -- and was was given the task a couple of years ago of reviewing the finances of the Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corp.

Then, when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a critical audit last spring, she was assigned to deal with that mess. All while serving as director of the Office of Strategic Planning.

I've had limited dealings with her over the years and found her to be earnest, knowledgeable and under no illusions. She was perhaps the most overworked employee in City Hall. Lots of responsibilities, worked long, long hours.

Some sources I hold in high regard held her in high regard, and one told me this morning she was set up to fail. He expects that she'll be scapegoated for the city's continuing problems with the block grant program. 

Other sources told me they felt her effectiveness has been hurt by all the work she had taken on -- or had been assigned.

And a few are saying "good riddance."

Look for more in Tuesday's paper.



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