There is no county government. Only Zuul.
Chris Collins has all but declared himself the sole sovereign and king of Erie County. Christopher du Lac Spaulding, as successor to King Joel the Fail, has unilaterally declared the Erie County Legislature to be a nullity.
The Six Sigma-dependent big spender has naturally relied upon dubiously correct hypertechnicalities to justify his lack of regard or respect for co-equal branches of government.
While Collins may be the chief budget officer, he is also the executive – the legislature is the board of directors and speaks for specific constituencies to whom they answer every two years.
It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with Collins or the Democratic legislative caucus – the issue has become whether you respect the rule of law and separation of powers. Collins du Lac clearly doesn’t. He claims that the Democratic budget amendments would raise people’s taxes up to $3.00 per year, but shows absolutely no math to back up that assertion. The legislative Democrats have provided proof – in writing – that their proposal does nothing to raise taxes, and has issued documentation of how it achieves balance.
Not Collins, though. Le comté, c’est lui.
Tomorrow, the legislature will take up Collins’ remarkable veto statement and attempt to override it. Many of the specific cultural line items were supported by 10/15 legislators, and the library funding was supported unanimously. According to majority leader Maria Whyte, Kevin Hardwick said he would override Collins’ vetoes on certain cultural line items if he had proof that no tax increase would result.
During today’s press conference, Betty Jean Grant said Collins’ claims that the Democratic budget amendments raised taxes were “fearmongering.” Lynn Marinelli said that Democrats were proud to show their math – Collins is for some reason afraid or unwilling to do the same. Addressing Collins’ media blitz and direct voter contact, Tom Mazur said Collins should be ashamed of himself stoking fear through robocalls. Tom Loughran said that Collins wasn’t elected “to destroy this community”. Barbara Miller-Williams lamented a “sad day” for Erie County and pleaded with Collins to work with the legislature.
Tomorrow we’ll see just how sad a day it is, and Collins will be forced to deal with a co-equal branch of government whether he’s bought it or not, whether he likes it or not. Caution. Litigation ahead.
- County Executive vows to veto amendments (buffalo.ynn.com)
- Collins: A Government of One (wnymedia.net)