9 Jan

That’s what it was all about. All this talk of a coalition being built in order to bring about reform? It’s all about jobs. J-O-B-S JOBS. Who’s in and who’s out so far?


Kevin Hosey: Majority Communications Director: A person I consider to be one of the best and brightest people in local politics. I will sorely miss popping in his office from time to time to shoot the breeze, and I hope he lands somewhere good, lucrative, and quickly.
Jeremy Rosen: Former Bob Reynolds staffer: Senior Administrative Clerk
Rosemary Sullivan: Former Kathy Konst staffer: Senior Administrative Clerk
Michelle Novak: Senior Administrative Clerk
Cherrie Bagarozzo: Receptionist
Dorothy Furtney: Senior Policy Analyst
Don Pryzbl: P/T Budget Analyst
Patrick Sanders: P/T Budget Analyst

All of the above are Democrats. The sole departing Republican is Emily Trimper: Senior Administrative Clerk

Staying on:

Bobby Graber: Clerk of the Legislature. Gets to stay, but with a very significant pay cut.
John Calvin Davis: Chief of Staff: pay increase to $75,000 – he will make more than the Legislature’s Clerk, which is unprecedented. Associated with Grassroots.
Paul Henderson: Administrative Clerk, Grassroots member
James Gambino: Senior Administrative Clerk, Graber’s right-hand-man
Andy Kulyk: P/T Senior Administrative CLerk, hours reduced, not an ECDC sycophant

We don’t yet have the complete figures on how many Republican staffers are being added to the county payroll, but estimates are that four new jobs will be created, all around $40 – 75k, and the Republican Chief of Staff goes from the low $40k to almost $70k.

Brian Fiume will be that minority Chief of Staff, moving over from Collins’ office, where he served as the intergovernmental affairs officer. He gets a big raise in the move.

Scott Kroll stays on, getting a hefty raise to the mid-$50k range.

It’s also been reported that although the Republican legislators will be closing their useless and unused district offices, those offices’ staffers will stay on the county payroll, moving downtown.

The “Democrats” have added jobs as follows:

1. Sandy Rosenswie is the chairwoman of the Erie County Independence Party. She has Tony Orsini’s old job, and she had previously been on former Erie County Legislator Cindy Locklear’s payroll while Orsini was chair. This is the first time anyone knows of that a county party chair has also been on the county payroll. Rosenswie is, of course, a close family friend of Pigeon’s, as well as a political ally of his. Rosenswie was apparently brought in by Christina Bove.

2. Sheila Meegan is a West Seneca Councilmember who received unreported campaign funding from Steve Pigeon – donations that ultimately led to former A.D.A. Mark Sacha’s ouster because he made too much noise about it.

3. Rebecca Brooks was Barbara Miller-Williams’ district office staffer. She’s coming downtown full-time.

4. Diana Cihak was the local organizer of the Obama presidential campaign and headed up Citizen Action of NY’s local office. Was not on good terms with ECDC, so defected in 2009 to Maurice Garner’s Grassroots – Garner got Cihak this job.

No, I am not so naive as to believe that this is some sort of unprecedented turn of events – that good people lose their jobs and other people take them. What is glaring here is the fact that the incoming staffers are getting big bumps in pay over their predecessors’, and the ones “lucky” enough to hold over are, with a couple of exceptions, getting their pay and/or hours slashed. The idea that the county chair of the dirtiest piece of shit excuse for a political party gets a county job is mindbogglingly horrible. That is the very epitome of bad government, and anyone associated with this should be ashamed. The Independence Party, which is now controlled locally and statewide by Steve Pigeon’s maneuvering and Tom Golisano’s money, is a blight on politics in New York State. It is the same grouping of people that brings us such good-government luminaries as Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate – the downstate versions of Tim Kennedy, Barbara Miller-Williams, and Christina Bove.

So, I’ll let both Maria Whyte and Barbara Miller-Williams in on a new definition of “reform”, since they were both keen on defining that term on Thursday: reform in Erie County means finding jobs for your well-connected friends and giving them big-ass raises, and in some cases creating brand new jobs out of whole cloth.

I’m so happy that Chris Collins is also pleased to provide these people with their new, higher-paying positions, complete with dreaded legacy costs. Did Collins run on the raises-for-new-patronage-hires platform? If not, he should make that a centerpiece in his doomed-to-fail gubernatorial run, or maybe in his re-election bid to become County Executive again in 2011.

No one’s running county government like a business. Instead, Chris Collins and Steve Pigeon have taken to running county government like a feudal manor. And we’re the serfs whose labor helps pay for the high life the Lords and Vassals enjoy.

15 Responses to “J-O-B”

  1. Kevin J. January 9, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    I appreciate your comments and support, Alan. I hope I was able to provide some public service and clarity during my time at the County Legislature.

  2. Paws January 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    It is my understanding the Rebecca Davis was about to rat out Barbara Miller WIlliams on her campaign finance “oversights”. Davis was her former treasurer.

    • Paws January 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

      I’m sorry, Rebecca Brooks.

  3. Jaquandor January 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    No one’s running county government like a business.

    Unfortunately, there are lots of businesses that are run exactly like this: with nepotism, back-room deals, good people being fired so that friends of the boss can shoot up the ladder, and all the rest of it. Nothing that’s happened these last few days in the ECL is something that I haven’t seen in some fashion or other in the somehow sacred-in-America world of “business”. That’s why I always laugh when I hear someone waxing poetic about government being “run like a business”: I know all to well how many businesses are run. (And note that being run that way often has no bearing on the success of a business. Lots of very successful businesses are run by complete bastards who would steal the coins from their own dead mother’s eyes.)

  4. Pauldub January 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    New jobs? Raises? Not gonna happen. Because MY county legislator said he was going to cut that waste. He is going to shrink that county government thing!

  5. Pete@BS January 9, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    @Pauldub – wake up, dear….it’s time to go to school……

  6. Ward January 9, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    Hacks in. Hacks out. Same hackarama.

  7. Greygoose January 9, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    How did Barbara Miller -Williams voted to give her husband, who is treasurer of the Colored Musician Club, over $300,00.00. Isn’t she supposed to abstain from this vote. There seems to be a big conflict of interest or possibly an ethnic violation somewhere. John Mills and the Republicans, did you all know about this? Do you care?

  8. dcoffee January 9, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    Wow, thanks for this. good research in record time. Political favors for those who will play ball. This is corrupt, and dishonest. It makes me sick that these politicians are more concerned about saving their own asses than doing anything for the community. You know, Governor Paterson talked about publicly financed campaigns, that sounds like a really good alternative to this legalized bribery. Tim Kennedy is my Legislator, right now, he looks like a sellout, and he doesn’t have my vote. Maybe some of you “Independence Party” people out there should switch to democrats so you can vote in the primaries and kick some of these guys out. 

  9. greygoose January 9, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    Barbara Miller-Williams was going to be knee deep in doo-doo if Rebecca Brooks, her campaign treasurer and legislative aide had ‘sang’ about Barbara forging her (Rebecca’s) name to her campaign finance forms. Don’t take the job Rececca! Don’t take the job! Barbara has a gun and is a cop. You may wind up M_I_S_S_I_N_G!

  10. Adam K. January 10, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    I’m glad they didn’t hire anyone completely insane, like should probably not be allowed to talk to other human beings type of crazy. Like, needs to be on anti-psychotics insane. Like, past the point where therapy is an option nutso. 

    Oh wait, Sandra Rosenswie was hired. Never mind.

  11. buffaloobserver January 11, 2010 at 8:05 am #

    John Calvin Williams gets a raise? Just shows that it pays to be Crystal People’s brother. What a joke!

    • Greygoose January 11, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

      The guy’s name is John Calvin Davis, not Williams. I can understand the mistake, though. They are both members of Grassroots. So Williams, Davis, who cares! Davis just happens to be President of the CAO; Chairman of Commission of community rights and chair of the Buffalo Ethics Committee. Come on now, how much can this guy do and still work for the county? Chris Collins truly does not know the depth of deviousness of these folks. He has maybe unleashed the devil upon Erie County. Pray, ya’ll Pray. Too late, Grassroots Rev. Pridgen has that covered.

  12. Hank January 11, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    Very Enlightening. Well reported. Nobody could put a positive spin on these events. 50 years ago, with 2 dis-interested newspapers and 3 dis-interested local TV stations, not nearly as much would have come to light. All partisanship aside, this is just big government run amok. They’re all involved. Truly shameful. If there ever was a reason for voter apathy, this is a textbook case.


  1. Trading Favors | WNYmedia.net - January 10, 2010

    […] As a result of her election as the nominal chief of the Pigeonista “Reform” coalition, Barbara Miller-Williams is slated to earn an additional stipend of $10,000 on top of her base pay of $42,588 as a legislator and her salary as a Buffalo Police Officer and Army Reservist.  She also hires/fires the Legislature’s support staff and the changes thus far were covered yesterday by Alan. […]

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