Erie County Water Authority commissioners Thomas Jones (left) and Jerome Schad (right). February 28, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Legislature Votes to Retain Schad as Water Authority Commissioner

Minority caucus says an opportunity to make changes was lost

March 07, 2019 - 5:16 pm

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Erie County Legislators vote Jerome Schad to remain as commissioner. The vote was on party lines, 6-5.

Schad was one of two applications for the position who interviewed at the Legislature last week. Legislator Tom Loughran introduced a resolution requesting a moratorium on voting to approve the position in order to collect more resumes. That failed by a 6 to 5 vote.

Legislator Joe Lorigo was disappointed. “This is an example of the Majority Caucus upholding the status quo and working to protect a party boss. The ABO report clearly outlines the need for reform at the water authority and removal of Schad as a result. We had an opportunity to appoint an industrial engineer with a track record of fighting for transparency.  Instead, the Majority kept the status quo and reappointed the only commissioner in the history of the Water Authority ever to be censured.  Today, the ratepayers were dealt a blow to transparency and accountability.”

Legislator Peter Savage says the issues raised about the water authority were from the previous set of commissioners. "The water services provided have been excellent. There have been no issues in terms of water qualities. Yes, there have been water main breaks, but they have been addressed quickly," says Savage.

Schad was censured by New York State in June 2018 “based on the historic issues with transparency and accountability at the Erie County Water Authority”.

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