Tag Archives: BOE

About that Democratic Vacancy at the County Board of Elections

8 Oct

1. Somebody somewhere writes that the position of Democratic Commissioner of the Board of Elections comes, “with a $135,000 annual salary and with no requirements to hold regular office hours.” False. The salary is closer to $105,000, and the hours take into account that the person is a professional and an executive of a large public organization. 

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

2. This same outlet claims that Tonawanda Democratic Committee Chair Gayle Syposs is “likely” to be the Democrats’ pick. False. Syposs is not likely to be the Democrats’ pick.  It’s more likely to be Champ Eve or Mike Keane, and all of it is subject to an executive committee meeting that will likely take place in late October (it must be within 30 days of the Dennis Ward vacancy), and then subject to county legislative approval. 

Facts are sometimes easy to just look up. 

Stupidest Thing Ever?

24 Oct

Just a few days ago, it was revealed that some cretin in the Board of Elections sent out absentee ballots that were pre-marked for Chris Collins. They were sent out to at least 10 Lackawanna Independence Party voters, and the Sheriff’s Department quickly mounted an investigation, as both parties’ BOE commissioners expressed shock and anger.

I rushed to judgment and assumed that the cretin who would do such a brazen and stupid thing would be a Republican proponent of Chris Collins.  Yet based on information from several sources, not to mention Stefan Mychajliw’s proxy outrage for his boss, it would appear that the culprit is actually a BOE Democratic appointee with close ties to Collins’ last opponent, Jim Keane. On Friday, Poloncarz released this statement:

Ballot tampering is a serious issue and I hope for a quick resolution of this recent issue at the Board of Elections. I support the investigation conducted by the Sheriff’s Office. Whether it is a Democrat or Republican who is at fault, it is my hope that the Sheriff’s Office will get the true facts of the case, make a swift prosecution to the extent of the law, and the individual should be immediately terminated. At the end of the day, he or she denied someone the opportunity to vote fairly in this race.

I apologize for thinking logically and assuming that only a Collins partisan would do something so stupid. I never considered that an even more stupid individual would try and do this – commit fraud to make Collins look bad, and have it backfire. I don’t know if an arrest is imminent, but when it happens I can expect Collins’ camp to make as much hay of this as possible. Who can blame them? Playing the victim is a great ploy in a campaign, and they’ll milk it for all it’s worth.

Thankfully, the Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that neither campaign had anything to do with this, so there’s that, but this absolute idiot, in trying to get Collins in trouble, has gotten himself into trouble and has caused the Poloncarz campaign to do damage control for something they had nothing to do with.

Substance > Form on Downsizing Referendum (UPDATED)

4 Oct

The referendum to downsize the Erie County Legislature from 15 to 11 members is temporarily on hold. The EC BOE commissioners ruled that the referendum paperwork was improperly transmitted to the BOE by the clerk of the legislature, rather than the county clerk.  Under section 4-108 of the Election Law,

Whenever any … referendum … is to be submitted to a vote of the people of a county … at an election conducted by the board of elections, the clerk of such political subdivision, at least thirty-six days prior to the election at which such proposal, proposition or referendum is to be submitted, shall transmit to each board of elections a certified copy of the text of such proposal, proposition or referendum and a statement of the form in which it is to be submitted. If a special election is to be held, such transmittal shall also give the date of such election.

So, because the political subdivision at issue is the county, the county clerk “shall transmit” a certified copy of the proposed referendum.  That language seems pretty straightforward.

I don’t know what the case law says, but the argument would be that a statute such as this should be construed liberally, and technicalities having to do with procedure and form shouldn’t thwart the substantive work of the people or their representatives.

Downsizing guru Kevin Gaughan has already filed a suit to overturn the BOE’s decision, and some county legislators are expected to do the same.  I hope the courts let substance triumph over form.

UPDATE:  Erie County Legislator Ray Walter (R-LD4) adds this in comments:

Look at Municipal Home Rule Law section 25 in regards to the submission of local laws for referendum. MHRL section 2 defines the “clerk” as the clerk of the board of supervisors which is equivalent to the county legislature. Section 2.03 of the Erie County Administrative Code provides that:

“…the form and procedure for the adoption of a local law, including referendum, mandatory or permissive, shall be as provided in the New York state municipal home rule law.” Plus the BOE accepted a local law for referendum last year that was certied by the clerk of the Legislature but now that’s not good enough? If that’s not arbitrary what is?

Golisano & Mohr – So Happy Together

2 Nov

Couldn’t Golisano have picked someone less controversial to run his nascent political operation? You know, someone like Ted Stevens or Larry Craig?