Tag Archives: Legislator Lynn Marinelli

Lynn Marinelli Interview

25 Jan

As part of our ongoing interview series with Erie County Legislators, Marc and I turned our camera on Legislator Lynn Marinelli.  We spent about an hour with her and covered dozens of topics ranging from the “reform coalition” to the pending budget crisis in Erie County.

We’re asking each legislator the same basic set of questions and we hope through this interview series, you can juxtapose the responses from each and get a feeling for what’s important to them and get a perspective on their ideas for governance and politicking.

After we got through the basic set of questions about the “reform coalition”, reductions in urban-centric service programs, urban/suburban divide issues, regional planning/coordination, and general politics, we went with a few additional questions about the ECIDA, Collins for Governor and the upcoming decision to maintain or repeal the municipal share of the additional sales tax levied in 2005.

There was a lot of ground covered and it was pretty tough to edit the interview down to under 10 minutes, but I think we got most of the important topics covered.

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We’re scheduling an interview with Legislator Kozub later this week and we hope to hear back soon from Legislators Hardwick and Rath.  If you have questions you’d like us to look into, let us know in the comments section.

A Collins Carol

27 Dec

‘Twas 2008, and the county was screwed
the people were not in a holiday mood.
The taxes, they said, were quite high, thanks, enough,
and people agreed that the times were quite tough.

On a floor called sixteen, a man crunched up some numbers
Six Sigma, he thought, would drag us out of our slumber.
Amid raises for managers, programs were cut.
The lawmakers’ charges, he’d always rebut.

In order to pay for his raises so steep,
the people’d fish money from pockets less deep.
Thanks to meltdowns and layoffs – economy dire,
taxpayers had little up there to admire.

But lawmakers thought they could do him one better
and changed his proposals – some letter by letter.
They cut all the raises, revived some dead funding,
and wondered, who died and made this guy the king?

On the floor of sixteen, Collins grew quite enraged,
and the comptroller soon had to become more engaged.
Explaining to Collins his budget was faulty,
but not using language one might think was too salty.

He told the lawmakers that they were wrong, too.
Their outlook was based on too blissful a view.
A budget like theirs, higher taxes required,
a result that really quite no one desired.

The leg passed its budget, some vetoes were used.
The leg overrode some, those cuts they refused.
Then from the Rath Building arose some weird chatter.
The People then wondered, “NOW, what was the matter?”

It seemed a dispute had arisen quite great,
as to which branch of power could set the tax rate.
The executive said, he’s the man with the pen,
while the leg thought that it could. It told him, and then…

To court they all went, led by Lynn Marinelli.
against Collins and Green, (I saw her on the telly).
Judge Feroleto granted Lynn an injunction,
who argued that Collins had usurped a leg function.

Then Judge Peradotto, the leg soon lamented,
ordered that Collins’ bills could be printed.
So from Springville to Amherst and then Lackawanna,
we’ll pay more for less stuff, sort of anti-nirvana.

When green and red budgets were part of existence,
we complained and cajoled, and put up some resistance.
the problems keep coming, they should all feel shame.
For now everything new can seem old again.

Collins Seeks a Rubber Stamp

7 Oct

The beauty of having a County Comptroller and County Legislature that is independent from, and controlled by the party in opposition to that of the County Executive, is that we have some checks and balances in place.

Because Poloncarz and Marinelli do not do Collins’ bidding all the time, and have had the audacity to challenge him on key issues, in Collins’ mind they must go.

Call it the Byron Brown School of Government, if you will.

Make no mistake – if the Comptroller is a Republican Collins lackey in the future, we won’t have a fiscal watchdog; we’ll have an obedient lapdog. We can’t afford that anymore. (See Nancy Naples).

Erie County

10 Jan

Lynn Marinelli was re-elected Legislature chair yesterday 8-7, garnering support from its three Republicans. While Chris Collins and others lauded the bipartisan nature of the vote, it underscores the fact that there is more to what’s going on in county politics than just Republican and Democrat. The Democrats on the legislature are split rather starkly.

One of the first items on the Legislature’s agenda involved the approval of a new post – Director of Six Sigma. The post and its associated perks and software will cost $200,000, and it is hoped that it will be paid for through a state efficiency grant that the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority controls. Usually, such a proposal would be sent to committee for discussion, debate, and vetting. This wasn’t.

The exercise was repeated when the Legislature created a “space utilization position” at Collins’ request. The official will earn more than $100,000 in determining the best uses of work space in county-owned buildings. Collins expects the control board to underwrite that job as well.

All we need now is a $100,000 Director of Feng Shui, who will help implement the Chinese practice of placement and arrangement of county work space to achieve harmony with the environment.

Although I hope the control board comes through with that efficiency grant money, it’s still our money that’s going to pay for this. I hope Six Sigma starts showing results as soon as possible.

(Photo by Whitneyarlene via Flickr)