6-24 Hardline Hour 1

Sunday, June 24th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Time to talk politics it's hard line. And on news radio 930 WB. And welcome the hard line this is Kevin Hardwick today will be talking shortly about the Erie county water authority and everything that's going on there in an hour. Will be joined live in studio by buffalo teachers federation president Phil were more will be talking about buffalo school issues. Again will be talking with ten cruelly. Former budget director for the county under Dennis scored ski. About the water authority may have let me bring in my my guest cohost he did such a good job last week where. Ask him that bill Conrad talent counseling from the town of Donna on that. But you may know him as as rugby. Aficionado. And coach. For ten more or less dates are there any we do need to go and all this World Cup fever has it taken the focus off a rugby well an Irish stance which well Weis. The USA did defeat Canada yesterday and swept the series so that's been getting it Rosie and rugby it's been a big series commitments it did did we do anything. To him and Irish answered no no no but the that the nationals and older are actually video I'd be there was a series we. Because Canada we deeply into Canada and we got out trade war with them and now mean that there is they're both play a home and we'd be rushing the summer so that is and yeah and a White House listen I'm. It. Bill let me ask you before agreeing tenants are. Erie county water authority in from from based on your observations is that the third rail of politics in Erie county has no one wants to touch it I don't know it's it's toxic. Now now you it should be noted that unlike me you are not a client or re not a customer of the county water authority in fact. I don't think a lot of people realize can truly weird you know the returning water authority you're listening to me if Europe. Buffalo resident it if you're a resident town couldn pure. You know your resident a lot of places. Well including town to town on the way I Randall in the legislature and the bills or ten more and Grand Island which I represent you oh you mean this you really don't have a dog in this fight all of this talk doesn't really affect you it affects people like me because I live in the city attend a Wanda. We get direct service from the Erie county water authority. But but can a lot of places don't. They don't although some others also get serviced by conference where they liked him Paris air water but a they purchase it from the water authority so. They're sort of in Iraq. And then again Amherst is kind of hybrid too because in Amherst. They they manage it they fix the pipes and everything like that but capital improvements are made night town of Hamburg right right so if you've got to you've got a light lights up there that now there. I mean I don't think it's a secret I don't think we're we're we're shocked that there's talk of politics in the eerie and water authority and like ten cruelly you've been around since at least the gore ski days you you before that but before they get okay well I I don't I came here during the course he gains. Blunt. It seems different this time does it does I think that there's a more. More of an awareness and public for one thing. The Buffalo News from writing editorials or the other week about the the water authority and that is focusing there and there. Story coverage two thanks so. The only thing that drives public issues vision noses when the media gets involved in that and then there are more engaged now I think him past. The courses last week was a lot of activity you the yeah the water authority. Commissioners firing the executive director. Hurled Jan. You had the county legislature majority of the county legislature. Myself included voting to ask for the resignation. Room should add one of the commissioners. Who was there win the when the public you know what was it the the authority's budget office right which who knew that existed and put up this evening scathing report the authority budget office by the way was created. In 2009 by the public authority reform act. And it's it's a nonpartisan. Apolitical group and they did an audit of the authority or the water authority they say well what's all this going on. They made twenty recommendations for the authority itself and one for the county legislature. And the one for the kind legislature was getting rid of all the commissioners that were there during the time in the only one left is is Jerry shad. And the county legislature call called for his resignation last week will see you know I'm sure will be hearing more about that. But can look what to reason I brought you here is you have a very interesting life which which you know I go to all the time. Politics and stuff is politics and stuff that count yes sir. And you're at peace on the water authority and a lot of us have been arc of the mind several pieces on the look several things I want authority right health. But a lot of us have been under the impression the miss impression. The misunderstanding. That this was a state authorities though only the state could change it. And you laid out of a case where no we in Erie county have the power to bring change yourself fueling that out for listeners. Yeah the the enabling legislation to fairest in 1949. Had all the bells and whistles of creating an authority but part of the line which was that. They will exist for twelve years or until such time as the the depth of the authorities tradeoff. Our and it says are basically says that the authority can pay it off or sought some other way that the debt can be paid off. I think they're provide some opening it's a very complicated opening. For the count me to step in and sell bonds. To pay off the debt of the authority. And the the debt more than stole resides with the people who are getting the service award and spread to. So badly want to build that they are I was is gonna go there and I element of the estimates actually out buffalo wouldn't but I would have to pay at the guy while I heard it already I'm in the water authority I still have to pay right so I like a special district yeah out. And as you know the county has special districts are sure treatment and so this is not an unusual situation. Are there and I'm simplifying it greatly there'd be a lot of stuff so employees unions all that stuff. I bought it does appear that there's very simple way and simpler way to do it. I made in part of the reason for looking at that I think is that you have to consider that if the alternative is going to state legislation. We've just seen a little example of state legislation concerning the water authority. When the story about Pearl Jam broke. Are beginning of march and the golden parachutes aren't a golden parachutes X excess of flow through 400000 dollar payment if he laughed and all. Arm the there was legislation filed is assemblyman non someone woman known Monica Walsh file legislation. In the assembly. And she did it in March and actually passed on May 22. It was sent to the senate and it died in the rules committee on. Shoot three or four days ago. Was there similar legislation introduced in the that's my point is that there was similar but different legislation introduced by senator mark ransom offered. But to have two different approaches to so wasn't just the senate that that didn't don't don't make the senate does it well the senate though couldn't pass Mike Griffin offers bell well Mike introduced a bill the sound likes a good guy but the senate itself. Well OK. Private but the bottom line is they look at this is political the other don't. The video at the bottom line is that. There was two competing pieces of legislation and they both stalled. And it's a fairly easy thing. And it's relatively statistic for the golden parachute for the couldn't do them. So your point is don't look. To the state to reform this we've gotta take matters into our own hands and you laid out again in your in your life politics and stuff that come only that this can be accomplished there. I I wanna talk about that at at length after our break its upcoming. I also want talk about the county executives and competing proposal he had a press conference I think on Friday and laid out a scenario you well laid out his reform package. I don't wanna talk about that. Bottom of the hour after the bottom of the hour news I wanna start bringing in our listeners because people you know have been complaining of and talking about the water authority for years well. This is hopefully this will be therapeutic for you this is your chance to get something off your chest. I got to believe that the phone lines of the full so if you wanna get the hand that again we won't get you till after the bottom of the hour news that US start lining up. Eagle three on 930 is the number to call 8030930. Will be back after the break we'll do bill Conrad Michael host and cruelly make my guest. I'm Kevin Hardwicke you're listening to hard line and news radio 930 WD EN. OK I don't hear any more commercials so I think we're tax Kevin garbage here are joined by. In studio by bill Conrad count on the money helps when Michaels for today. Ken Corley former a lot of things that I guess the big clip biggest lender famous for a budget director for. Discourse in the county were talking about the third rail of Erie county politics Erie county water authority today. I can before the break we use you laid out your plan for for getting rid of them are making the authority a county department. We would need state approval always got to do is. Pay off the bonds. And end and there's also solve a lot of other browser and what you're saying those bonds won affect the other news payable matador like they move us at the Pellicano underwear bill Conrad lives and as a councilman. Because you have your own waters yes and we don't want you while I have my own proposal talk about them well we'll talk Obama. I can hardly wait for that now. Can the county executive on Friday held a press conference and laid out his reform plan. And how would I would you characterize it it was basically the big the biggest component was ads for appointees currently there are three. Commissioners appointed by the county legislature. They each make 1225. A year or something. He would he would lower their salary to 7500. But added four more to appointed by the governor. Two one appointed by to agree to by the county executive yeah us yes. The will that change anything. I'll I don't think so it looks up there to create some political appointments for more people. For more jobs. Part time jobs yeah. I don't know where the role of the governor comes in because you don't state money and operational authority. ID as I mentioned in the black guys you haven't offense that. The members of the authorities should be paid zero which is the same amount of money that. ECC board of PC MC board VC the board's most school board's most school boards can negotiate the library board under the net. Morning and they all work in the role have me. And as I indicated you during the break him I'm not sure that that doesn't go too far that your I would agree would you but I would certainly think about it. Let me go through does that the county executive. DNA in his tweets and in his presentation. Talked about the problems with creating a department of county government for for making the water authority you know assuming it into the county government making it department. Let me go through those those problems that he cited. The first was that get you would have to pay off the violence that is. As bill was worried about them this would only affect the people who are who left to pay them off now like people like myself in the city panel on although. He did mention there won't there might be additional cost you know paying off the bounds of selling them. You know transactional costs there which is which is something right in your it is. Although my argument that would these. I I could go through our Consolidated Water authority into the count me and I half an hour save a million dollars in the budget by. Cutting some superfluous staff I think if I worked an hour two more to probably go higher than. Can you can you mentioned that there's like 44 positions with human resource that the discount are competing us over yeah those gathered there and actually the app makes more of me and personal commissioner. Who's responsible for 4000. Calories let's let's let's continue going on this list of of problems going going your round he said first the debt. Second labor contracts labor contracts with you know you'd have you'd you'd have to void the labor contract with the eureka and our authority need to have a new one with the Erie county in that would be a problem. Yeah you know I I eighty I think that there would be I mean certainly that's a that's an obstacle something you have to deal would. But I was wondering myself why didn't he mention that when he was prima consolidating school districts that seems to me when you consolidate five school districts in Cheektowaga and the one. You're gonna have a lot bigger problem you know when your teachers making 101000 dollars more at the same level in one district and another in and getting healthy diet they just taking the water authority. Breaking one contract and and and you know having basically the same people doing the same jobs although there would be other problems and he mentions of Cuba and in my off base and it can. While it is certainly via application. But you know the different units of accounting now of yeah different branches of the unions that represent county employees they idea. EC MC has their own are. She SE a unit of international unit that's been our problem though and it's something we're trying to get away for former you know trying to train them. Yeah you know holes and made it may take some time emerge. And and yes and that's that's another problem that that the site is civil service yes I mean if you bring these people in there. Do they start with a no seniority in the county when someone from you know. Some other division of the county can beating the positions have more seniority them that's that's that's going to be. I mean I'm sure that's the problem you could solve but it is and it is a little bit tricky it's negotiable it's can be worked. Now know another thing he mentions is retiree health you know we've got our he says we've got our own problem of retiree health in Erie county and certainly we do. But I got to thinking well you know the retiree health I don't know what the water authority as I assume they have good retiree health. And that's expensive. But that's expensive for me Kevin Harvick now has a rate Payer for the water authority would be the same if it were the county it's just moving it premiered here. It's not gonna make a difference to someone who lives in the city of buffalo or the city or they tell McDonough Wanda. Like like bill Conrad my co host because he'll he's got pain for the every now he won't pay for benefits special district like yeah right a legacy. Austin law of our medical meals from mentioned retirement system. Would all have to be transferred to the ratepayers we we did I mean I am I responsible is as the water authority rate Payer I'm responsible for those legacy cost now I'd be responsible form then you're really not much difference right. Although the report talks about. Tens or hundreds of millions of dollars of chargers right now. And what would and wouldn't that he intervene here with this qualify for any of this consolidation funds the governor's office and interest and questions. I'd I would certainly think they would pursue their. Actually Kevin DO. That this fashion market in Cheektowaga schools by huge ship through that meeting. And there was discussion about things like this with the schooling I mean if you are America's pushing the consolidation. And I think with mark if you off into when he when he talked about that carrot of a there's all this money you know there's these options here. And my understand even the labor perspective for the unions that they get the higher contract so very good point and. Yeah and I did and I. Mark has been a very strong advocate of those sorts of things yes. I you don't get me wrong I think the county executive dozens serviced by bringing up these issues a mammy I. It's a lot easier than just saying well we ought to put the wire authority on business let's vote about business and and turn it over to someone else it's. It's very very company and town and out of tunnel wanna be willing to do that yeah I'm sure. And I'm gonna affect your your AP government class yeah legally Billy Penn west right if you're missing my head wrestler and our water is listen. We are I I'm sitting here with bill can read. Ten more west social studies teacher town to town on the board member. Also sitting with a can truly former a budget director effort Erie county under discourse he. And a whole lot of other titles we're solving the problems of the world today but we would also like your help so. After the break we're still gonna talk about the Erie county water authority if you like gateway in. Give us a call 8030938030930. We'll get your calls a few minutes I'm Kevin Hardwick. You're listening a hardliner on news radio 930 WB. Edward bat this Kevin Hardwick sitting here. Hard line studio here and test at this W the end. With Ken cruelly former budget director under this course you know a lot of other things to. No time to read them off. Bill Conrad talent town on the councilman can more west social studies teacher. Can Ken west rugby coach Janzen and part time Irish dancing instructor dead at Ocala. Anyway if I we're talking water authority for the rest of the hour than Phil were more of the buffalo teachers federation will be live in studio. It if like a producer Joseph beamer you'll a lot of pent up anger and you wanna get it off your chest in this beat therapeutic. Give us a call 8030930. We'll be right down. We are they interesting during the break we had attacks command from someone in the build it can martz is my bill you can more water bill. Is four times what an eerie candy what water authority customer pays. You know one of the things that a surprise me when we talked about this. When there was this talk about the golden parachute. We the county legislature had the water authority commissioners to me in and explain themselves. And one of the things that came out in. Is that the water authorities race. For the effective water authority rate which takes into account a whole lot of factors. Is lower than anyone else in Erie county for the water authority. Except for Grand Island Grand Island for some reason has lower water water water rate so. I mean that that text or maybe makes a good point you know didn't look there is politics at the water authority. There are probably more administrators and you need and they're making too much and everything like. The win the bottom bottom line is you get these water and it's it's it's it's that cheap. But it's probably less expensive than anywhere else you get can does that surprise you aren't you understand agree with the and and it's just yet the the again I live in the city time on that we haven't. I remember this past winter it was that we we have a stretch when was it January February it was just god awful cold for you know two weeks. And there was major. Break at the corner down the street from me. And man those guys worked hard they were out there in whether I didn't wanna be out in to get to my car and they were out there for hours and hours. And there are a lot of good people at the water authority and they do a good job just like. Just like everywhere and in in the public sector we were good teachers there are good good you know good public employees and not just. Reading that one whatsoever and doesn't provide darn good clean safe water to drink. My my point is that they they can do it even cheaper if they do element. I we we we promise we bring in our callers an eagle three on 930 let's take our first call let's go to ray in Angola re welcome the program how aria. Ray in Angola I'm sorry re are you there at camp camp out at Ellis might fall by the way I I all I semi punched you ups sorry about that anyway welcome to the program. OK can thumb. I think that pulled curses are one thing I think it would be hard to get this mess cleared up and I do think it has to be abolished I think that's the only way to go com. But and it started making 49 right. Correct yes I mean this is bought and ensure they set it up in 1949 had no intentions to be what it is today. Com and I have. I just think that the way isn't that what most Republicans is upset about this. There arrogance to go along with their lack of transparency. I mean he eaten it. We need to look at the book. See what's going on here and we have no idea you talked about how we commissioners they have a much what do you some of these things we can find out the dishonest dealing that's been done. Behind closed doors without an an indication we're trust. And I think it's I think to serve its. You don't. Short but funny you should bring up the transparency thing because the authority budget office of state. Commission urged state agency. Taking down with a scathing review we much of that they can you you read the report that was about transparency. About freedom of information requests and the fact that they were stonewalling effect they. They hired a law firm instantly when he thousand dollars or so over and all well you know after the first when he itself. Okay right bill and you're hearing government long enough to go after the but it was a lot of money it was a lot of money. For a law firm don't have a final review and keep keep information from the public. You know and they end a also did things slide. Not providing engenders Tuesday media or the public and by extension. Arms thrived in press out of meetings. Those sorts of things all the things that Republican agencies shouldn't be doing. And I'm sorry rich and it could be up there and oddly Fischer point. Look I I I also think that we shouldn't stop with the with this I mean the thruway authority if you remember they they wanted to raise the tolls on the truckers are and then when do Napoli esque look at the books. That was never brought up again. Armed I mean that's that's where that Lance and didn't even further with Higgins gets all the credit for the water authority. He did they laughed at him when he wanted that to fifteen milk for the water authority in NNM he wanted to look at the books there's the check I mean. You know it's smelled. Pot. I think what you're saying is what everybody's saying we want out oversight we want better controls. I would like to see somebody's control or somebody's. Authorities just abolished I mean. The peace bridge we fail we go on I mean birds really they've based oil pipeline of new teachers wanting my wife and I do we travel all over the place this world. Is we don't see dead birds and we see new buildings and received bridges signals that virtually around him. Can we turn around the social sort of a reason and now. But ray I know you recognize you just in abolish the water authority I mean I wouldn't get water if that happened in the pipes out from my house ready to be fixed. You don't so an NA NA and I think again one of the things county executive did. As much as I criticized some of his points in the last segment are you know he laid out some some obstacles and barriers some problems that we would have to deal with this can't be done overnight. But I like what can had to say I mean you don't want to get to start with the local government where you think gets it will get anything done he gestured banging on the local county legislators you got to work you do the latter. And and then you know I mean. It it's it's our money and I'm retired my wife and I are basically out six and gone and it's stopped the live and in goal of enemy we played really taxed. Haven't stacked stone that. Re ready Colonia houses for sale in the city a town on that God's country come on up telethon on that LLs comment on wanted to help out I'll show me myself a great great thanks for calling in excellent excellent points excellent call. Thank you very much that was rage in Angola line opens up if you want it 8030930. Is a number to call eagle three on 930. We'll try to get in as many calls as we can about the the water authority of the for the top of the hour in top of the hour news and then we'll hand it over again to. Phil were more will be live in studio but in the meantime I'm sitting here with ten cruelly. And bill Conrad we're talking about the Erie county war water authority we'd love to hear your opinion. Give us a call 8030930. Am Kevin Hardwick you're listening to hard line on news radio 930 WDD. End. And we're back talking another segment final segment on the water authority before we turn it over at the top of the hour to fill remorse in the buffalo teachers federation talked about buffalo school issues. Sitting here with can cruelly and bill Conrad I said we go back to your calls and we will do that now let's go to. Not in buffalo Bob welcome to the program. I did it again Bob welcome to the program. Yes media Erie county water authority client in a part of my bill out Tuesday infrastructure our church and I've been church where. For the long for a while on what you should durden who called and asked how Long Will institutional church via right bill. It's like I church it's never coming law. US support cautions oil. What is would be huge for and slash I guess guess or question for trusting. The facilities a lot and so forth so yeah. Lot of politics involved intentional and militia includes people like Michael who have a lot of talk about how the Erie county water authority are predict subcontracted. The initial promoting them and the truth or a huge and part of that involves the sure wouldn't Erie county you know legislator here and you wonder why. We are show our broken ankle up to state. OK Bob thanks for bringing those points a ten minute infrastructure charge of me that's. You're budget director I mean I mean we're talking capital improvements need to be done over time. Especially to some of these water lines switchers many of them over fifty years old minimum actual much older than him I don't know when we when we turned over our. The in the city tunnel on the when we turned over our operation to the Erie county water authority I was shocked me really was shot. The find that in some places we have wood in the water lines I mean who news urgently existent. Wouldn't waterlogged yes yes well capital charges will always be there. Because of the system is burial and factors and honey I mean whether we're talking you know the water lines or the roof on your house eventually things are gonna need to be repaired and you're gonna have to shell out of money in this is a way that the authorities doing exactly I'm not sure that's controversial meanwhile people don't like while nobody likes. No one likes don't know what's going off like no one likes paying any. Anything for an interview and possibly missed but it's it's not but that's at the same time looking for efficiencies in the system should be a priority number one right now alt and and didn't you know you you mentioned yourself earlier for people doing human resources and things like that I I don't know I slide in the first place that the water authority needed a public relations with the government monopoly you know yeah. And you know there's intelligent people advocate answer occasional question from Russia to work we're doing my tellers to Iowa I tell tell you Le. Well let's go back to the phones Tom and awful hole I'll try to get this up the first time Tom and buffalo welcome to the program. Time and buffalo welcome to the program this this is that working producer Joseph the way Richard anyway. Tom welcome to the pro. Maria there. Yeah perfect beware that there and ask why is that would communications since you know specifically Michael put up. Packet royal watcher missile conversation continues to read the PR. Threes in question and what is policy was to be transparent and IP. I don't know where to find the time to be honest. We not the Russians. Rosie and bars all the way in and be in charge of PR and it there toward our anger what is your guys. Remarks and remember to keep it to escorted straight. Yeah. RI technologies that are in great thank you town thank you for that advice. The water authority did have. Under under the past commissioners did have a contract of Michael Leo's. Firm zeppelin communications I think it was four. Like thousand dollars a month or something like that toll acumen Kim's 60000 yes you know what you're going to succeed for the year. And I think the callers saying that Michael as part of some of this problem with transparency I'm I'm not sure Ali. I'm I'm I'm ignorant as well you have any. Q when you think of BR you think that there to help make these things go smoother yeah. But of blocking compress from gaining access map for writing agendas and stop the sort of the opposite of what he sure but we don't know whether that was Michael doing matter whether it was someone but he ended authority he could recommend they recommended I don't maybe we don't know it. I can understand but you know contract for grant writing and forward in he's of that nature I I think that they are that you. I don't I don't wanna say that that Michael was a person they're saying we should answer this foil request or not I don't know what his responsibilities were there again. I'm an Erie county legislator you know that's the Erie county water authority they do their own thing and you know they assumes what they do the best that as as a way you're right about about you know what do you need. To spend any money. And a consultant for public you know it's not over some markings and yelling. Of the folks in these neighborhoods need you have a choice and a from water authority in and yes you know that's that I would understand you know their respect. But I think a bulls downed oversight again and his whole conversation we need more oversight in patrol I mean I'm outside this conversation I'm not a repair Geary county. But we keep hearing over and over again so where's that oversight come from that's that's that's you know hopefully we'll. They have the executive and an accounting legislature in charge. In water and game department it's gonna guard you win yeah your colleagues and of accounting jacket admin controls only you know us now some people are quick to point out well there's already. Politics and county government. I mean you know. Whoever has the executive. You know just like whoever it is the mayor who at college or whichever party as the mayor is gonna get more than new jobs in the streets department or whatever you can you can vote people out. He devolved people can't vote commissioners what are voters your your wins have so. So ten in and balance. You you'd be you'd think county department is a week ago yes yeah I I I think it's certainly deserves a good look at. And I think it's if it's gonna happen overnight it's opens loans it doesn't affect the retirement and others want to know I was out of it and all the Alitalia. I'll I'll Alitalia and and this is another issue and gets victory against like school consolidation. If you're starting over would the town a town of one of the city a town on in the city of buffalo. Have their own separate water department probably. And and also even think about the water authority the reason it was set up in 1949 it was. County government in 1949 was horse and buggy it was a board of supervisors working part time. There was no executive. With basically the highway department a couple of parks. The while. Welfare department and and the Health Department not much more than that. I don't know in the meantime in the last couple minutes can. The that the next skirmish legislative skirmish on this. Is gonna come over the the commissioner. Jerry Chad who. Is the only commissioner who left from the time that the authority budget office looked at. At at the operation gave the scathing report the legislature voted to ask him for his resignation the other day that passed slim only 65. Tom Lofgren Democrat joining the Republican caucus to in their bulk. The next skirmishes could probably be trying to get him to resign I mean actually you know terminating him there's some thought that the county legislature can do that. Do you have a do you have any sense as to whether this is a good eye gear makers as much ado about nothing is it is a red hearing ordered or. Should we follow the recommendation of the authority budget office and get his resignation. I think as long as tourism authority in existence. Jerry shared is a good fellow I agree with mark that these ethical honest and intelligent and I see no reason for Jerry Julie and he's only been in this chair position for what a little over any underneath. For what it's worth a minority of the youth vote commissioners have respect he was the lone Democrat were to Republicans note to Republicans have since moved on there's some also some disagreement about how that would be done some people think that. Because via appointing authority was the chairman of the legislature he could move on. Part in the enabling legislation that says that the commission shall we've removed in the same manner of pop Tony officer. Tony officers are covered by the public with public officers law which is very complicated process. Sounds like another thing will be suing each other about for years. Well let's. That's that's that's comforting. And anyway I I I I think it was a good discussion went thinker callers and and certainly one thank you can cruelly for coming in. Enlightening us. And and you know it's not just this that you talked about you you live you live stuff on on everything on the line in the blog is again politics and stuff. Politics and stuff that can go to right now I think you'll see past it it really is the premier blog like if it is a place to go into it anyway will be Beckett a few minutes with Phil or more bill cadre it's gonna take over again thanks can truly am Kevin Hardwicke you're listening to hardliner and news radio 930 WBE and.