Tag Archives: #ecleg

Erie County Posturing

8 Dec

I’m hearing that the Democratic majority in the Erie County Legislature may be in jeopardy; that a couple of legislators are busily trying to cut side deals regarding jobs and the chairmanship.

Are we looking at another January of fail, or will people get to work and start tackling big problems and big ideas, rather than angling for patronage and influence?

Le comté, c’est lui

13 Dec

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.

LIVE: The Erie County Legislature’s Budget Meeting

30 Nov


Erie County Legislature Downsizing: On Ballot Tuesday #WNYVotes #ECLEG

27 Oct

The Erie County Legislature downsizing referendum (15 to 11) will appear on the ballot next week.  My understanding is that it may even make it to the front page of that ballot, which will be helpful.

The Appellate Division in Rochester yesterday affirmed Judge Sedita’s earlier ruling, noting that minor technicalities should not thwart the will of the people, and that the board of elections abused its discretion by rejecting the referendum in the first place.

What we need to do is merge Erie County with the City of Buffalo, have a metropolitan government, a unified school system, 9 city councilpeople, 3 at-large seats, and a Metropolitan professional city manager.  The upcoming green code and a regional planning board with actual powers ought also be implemented.

All done reform.


Erie County Legislature 7/8/10 #ecleg

8 Jul

If you don’t pay attention to these meetings, the contentious backs and forths between Chairwoman Barbara Miller-Williams and the minority Democrats (especially Betty Jean Grant and Lynn Marinelli) are fantastic political theater.

On the agenda today: legislative approval of the county’s settlement over the holding center lawsuit, and a $65 million revenue anticipation note that County Executive Chris Collins wants the control board to handle instead of the county Comptroller’s office.

WNYMedia.net streams these meetings when possible, and you can follow the #ecleg hashtag on Twitter.