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What’s Happening At The Erie County Legislature?

Filed under: Erie County, Local Politics


Research that I did regarding the lack of substance taking place at the Erie County Legislature was recently featured by Investigative Post on Channel 2 News. A look at last weeks Legislature meeting proves the point.

Twenty two resolutions were prepared by legislative staff members honoring various people and organizations. While these are nice gestures, the real purpose behind these items is to make friends and obtain votes for the next election.

Two proposed local laws were tabled which is what usually happens with them. One local law was actually passed which is a rare occurrence.

Nine resolutions of some substance were filed and three of these simply expressed support for an organization or issue. One resolution was to give “surplus” county furniture consisting of several tables, desks and cabinets to a community organization. Several individuals were appointed to the Erie County Citizens Budget Review Commission.

At least some debate and discussion took place regarding whether an additional $5 million should be spent on repairing county roads.

Most items on the agenda consist of letters from departments that are simply received and filed with no action taken.

This is pretty much the story, meeting after meeting.

It seems to me we should be able to downsize the current 11 members to 5 without a problem. Better yet do we really need county government when 90% of its $1 billion budget is mandated by the state?

  • MaxPlanck

    What’s described here depicts a deeply dysfunctional body that’s lost any accountability for results. Unfortunately the impetus for downsizing will be trumped by political expediency; no one of the 11 ‘chair warmers’ wants to lose a seat when the music stops.

  • Cut back the size and scope of state government and restore the relevance of local government. Increased local accountability would be a bonus.

  • Michele

    If the question is “whats happening in the County Legislature”, I think the answer is nothing. zero. nada. zip. zilch.

  • UncleBluck

    Still doesnt top last weeks useless state senate debate by Ratzenhoffer & Co. on making yogurt the official state snack

  • HapKlein

    Aw, gee stop picking on the Republicans. Its their first chance to show their stuff for many decades and given their lethargy it may be their last for a few decades. We can hope anyway.

    Bu they are doing things and already closed ranks with the Sheriff and eliminated most of outside agitators on the Holding Center Citizens Group. By the end of the year we can expect elimination of the group and Holding Center information can be filed by the Sheriff at his convenience.

    I think they will rely on the Comptroller for developments in Erie County that can create issues for re-election opportunities. These are very important issues in the land of Permanent Incumbency.

    But eliminating separate county and city government and creating a metro government would be a great solution to a lot of problems.

    Occasionally I encounter comments in various blogs that demonstrate a fervent desire by many Western New Yorkers for increasing inclusion and fusing our diversity into one single community of people. Especially when integrating all the schools region-wide is discussed.

    Maybe the party of smaller government and increased local control has a clear field now and can eliminate the redundancy of two local legislatures both serving the same local people.

    We could erect a monument to their sacrifice and noble intentions.