What does Chris Collins want for Christmas?
Apparently, an Erie County Legislature that can’t override his vetoes.
What do I want for Christmas?
To stop writing about an entity called “County Government”.
Late yesterday WNYMedia.net broke the story on Twitter that County Legislator Kathy Konst was set to resign from that body in order to take a job with Chris Collins’ administration. Konst will become the Commissioner of Environment and Planning, which handles county environmental compliance, economic development & planning, and sewer management.
The Department also provides direct service to residents and municipalities through:
- The operation of six County sewer districts.
- The provision of U.S. Census data as an Affiliate Data Center to the New York State Data Center.
- The provision of technical and educational assistance related to business assistance, physical development, geographic information systems and environmental compliance.
- Enhancement of cultural resources in the community and region.
The department that Konst will be heading up seems to have jurisdiction over some of the most important issues facing the county – economic development, planning, the environment. Konst has a background in marketing and advertising, and is a past chair of the Lancaster chamber of commerce, but she was in favor of the strategic planning initiative that Collins vetoed. I wish her luck in her new position.
But nominating petitions have been submitted, and it’s now too late for the Democrats to replace Konst with anyone else, meaning it’s likely that the only candidate on the ballot for County Legislature District 5 will be Dino Fudoli. If Konst is replaced by a Democrat for the period between now and December, that Democrat would have to run on a hastily-arranged minor party line.
So, as far as Collins’ Christmas wish, he’s given himself a bit of a cushion. It appears likely that there is one less seat he needs to worry about to get to that magical number 6, so all he needs to do is flip two more seats. Hardwick vs. Iannello seems a possible pickup. I haven’t paid enough attention to the other races yet to figure out if there are any others.
But again, Collins proves himself a very shrewd strategist among a sea of often petty tacticians.