Jones Nominated As Water Authority Commissioner

Brings extensive legal background to board

Matt Moran
July 26, 2018 - 5:56 pm

WBEN Photo/Matt Moran

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - The Erie County Legislature voted 10-1 in favor of the nominating E. Thomas Jones as the new Commissioner of the Erie County Water Authority.

Minority Leader Joe Lorigo said he stood out amongst the rest during interviews and looks forward to what he can bring to the board.

"I have confidence in his abilities," Lorigo said. "I hope if he sees anything that he thinks needs to brought to attention he'll bring it to the legislature's atttention and to the public's."

Jones obtained his law degree in 1981 from Cleveland State University. He served as the Town Attorney for the Town of Amherst from 2002 to 2015. Legislator Edward Rath said it is the direction they want to head with the board as they nominated Mark Carney earlier this year who had plenty of experience in law.

Jones comes out of retirement to work on a board that has had much scrutiny over the years. When asked why he wanted to take such a position, he had two main reasons.

"My wife says I need more structure in my life," Jones said. "Also I didn't realize how much I missed it until I saw some of these issues and I've dealt with them in the past and I know how to fix them."

The Authorities Budget Office released a review in June outlining the issues within the Water Authority. Jones says he has read the report.

"I recognized just about every issue they pointed out because I have experienced it," Jones said. "When I first got to the Town of Amherst they were operating on some levels informally and we had to clean all that up."

Many law makers have called the board too political. Jones agrees and says he looks to change that. 

"It's not just the current commissioner or the past boards, it's been going on for years," Jones said.

Jones says one of his first goals is to help find a qualified Executive Director for the Water Authority.

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