Erie County Legislature Building. March 18, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Erie County Legislators React to Turnover

"We'll get it done, and we'll take care of Erie County."

April 28, 2019 - 9:30 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - Erie County Legislators Peter Savage, Barbara Miller-Williams and Tom Loughran have or are leaving the legislature. Savage has been appointed as a city judge, Loughran is not running for re-election and Miller-Williams has been replaced by Howard Johnson, as she took the position of city comptroller.

Legislator John Bruso says the inexperience in the legislature, especially within the Democratic caucus, doesn't worry him.

"I think that sometimes that fresh looks, fresh faces are very, very good for our community," said Bruso. "We have enough seasoned people there, and people like myself who ask a lot of questions and say 'why not?' an awful lot. We'll get it done, and we'll take care of Erie County."

Listen to the full conversation with Bruso below:

Republican Legislator and Minority Leader Joe Lorigo wasn't completely pessimistic when asked about the turnover, but he did say that inexperience causes some concern.

"Any time you have a number of legislators on either side leaving, whether it's for different offices or other reasons, it's a concern, especially given the fact that so many of the current legislators haven't been there for even more than a year-and-a-half at this point," said Lorigo. "It certainly will be interesting to see what happens with this new blood that's coming in."

Bruso spoke about interim Legislator Howard Johnson.

"He's an outstanding man," Bruso began. "One of our big jobs is the budget, and Howard has a very good understanding of that. He's level headed, and from what I've seen of him, he's going to be a pleasure to work with."

Lorigo wonders if the legislators will feel more pressure from Mark Poloncarz, something he doesn't want to see happen.

"That's something that people need to look out for - whether or not these legislators coming in actually have any level of independence, actually look at issues and take stances based on their own beliefs or what they think is best for their constituents, or whether they're just doing what the county executive is asking them to do or expects," he said. 

Listen to the full conversation with Lorigo below:

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