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Lenihan on Miller-Williams

Filed under: Erie County, Local Politics

Strong words from Len Lenihan on Democrat Barbara Miller-Williams being returned as chair of the Erie County Legislature by a coalition of six Republicans and two Democrats:

Today’s vote in the Erie County Legislature to re-elect Barbara Miller-Williams as Chair is a slap in the face to the taxpayers of Erie County. This selection guarantees that County Executive Collins will continue to have a rubber stamp Legislature that reacts to his bullying tactics by caving into his dictatorial operation.

Miller-Williams in the past year logged the least number of hours worked in the Legislature, while earning the greatest amount of taxpayer money.  When Governor Cuomo is calling for a new day of austerity at all levels of government, Miller-Williams ran over last year’s legislative budget so a number of political hires could be put on the payroll. Even worse, Miller-Williams was padding her pension during her final year in the Buffalo Police Department by working overtime and doubling her base pay to increase her pension.  As she padded her pension at the expense of taxpayers, she looked the other way as Collins cut key programs intended to serve her constituents.  Is this what County Executive Collins and the so called coalition calls reform?

Miller-Williams’ election was made possible by the defection of  Legislators Tim Whalen and Tina Bove, who joined the Republican caucus to deny the Democratic Party the leadership of the County Legislature that was won fair and square in 2009.  Whalen and Bove, not only abandoned their party, but sold out the values of the people who elected them.  The actions of Miller-Williams, Whalen and Bove will stay fresh in the minds of Democratic voters leading up to Election Day 2011.

The Erie County Legislature should be independent of the County Executive and reflect the honesty and integrity of the hard-working people of Erie County.


  • Peter A Reese

    What are “the values of the people who elected them” which Lenihan speaks of? For decades, the issue averse ECDC has run from taking positions on issues. Funneling patronage is the only real purpose of retaining control of the Committee. And this vote takes more patronage away from Lenihan. Whining about non-existant “values” is an obvious smoke screen.