Erie County Water Authority Doesn't Attend Committee Meeting

Was asked to show up by county legislature's committee meeting

Mike Baggerman
March 08, 2018 - 1:07 pm
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - As the Erie County Water Authority continues to face criticism following the revelation that Executive Director Earl Jann has a golden parachute agreement where he would receive between $300,000 and $400,000 if he is forced out of his role, the Erie County Legislature's Government Affairs Committee requested representatives from the authority to show up to Thursday's 11 a.m. meeting.

However, in a statement, the water authority said they were unable to attend the meeting because "this day and time conflicts with the Authority's Board of commissioners' regularly scheduled Board and Committee meeting." They also said that if they were given more advanced notice, they would have accommodated the request.

During the meeting, Legislator Patrick Burke didn't buy it.

"The reality is that their meeting time is at 9:30 a.m.," Burke said. "And it's two blocks away. So no one can come before the county legislature...on a very important subject...I find it very interesting they decided not to come and they used that as an excuse."

LISTEN: Erie County Legislature discusses the Erie County Water Authority

The committee meeting continued, where they spoke with representatives from ECWA's workers union, who said they've been without a contract for the last year.

Following the meeting, Burke said he did not know about the water authority's previously scheduled meeting.

"We would have asked them why they gave that contract away," Burke said. "What were the details of it? We would have asked them more specifically how they would reform the water authority."

The legislature was scheduled to interview commissioner applicants on Thursday afternoon.

Burke said the water authority has caused a concern for a while. He noted that the legislature has the power to fix the salaries of commissioners.

He said they will invite the water authority again in two weeks.

LISTEN: Erie County Legislator Pat Burke on the ECWA

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