EC Water Authority Mess 930in716 March 8, 2018

Thursday, March 8th

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

It's 930. In 716. Erie county water authority in the spotlight. Again. It comes down to. But will air down there in to witness to push out and that's mostly it's been in what is cut that program will emerge to two with a much. Will anything change. You know if there are unwilling to engage us in a very important public discussion. That I think we're at the start looking into other measures. I'm Tim Wenger on the podcast powered by the Brothers of mercy a five star rated skilled nursing residents offering affordable living in a country setting. Here's a deal since I was a child I can recall the uproar over the Erie county water authority I remember my dad complaining about it. I remember the news stories on TV and radio many sounded the same as the discussion and outrage you're hearing about well right now. Infected newsrooms across buffalo if you really wanna do a quick and easy piece to gain some attention to start asking some questions about the water authority there are plenty. But every time the questions are asked the answers are few of the players doc hide or deflect. The fact of the matter is Erie county water authority is charged with distributing and dealing for clean water across the region. Seems pretty simple. But the problem is that the authority is a sewer of political patronage. The party chiefs Democrat and Republican get to choose who sits on the board and there's a lot of money at stake. And now when the golden parachute of the authority executive director came to light all the accusations. While their right back in the news in here we go. Erie county legislator Patrick Burke is holding a hearing to hear from the authority and look into the business of the water authority. My alarm whenever possible culprit changed therefore rotten year our. Can cruelly former Erie county budget director blogger at politics and stuff dot net and WB EN contributor with our Tom pocket. I'm the armed the problem is that there are. After all must have been questioned your assertion chart that change would sure. What exactly the issue is the home. This year. I mean I proposed going. And ensure financial situation. You know organization there are racial. The very top hundred organization in March several people out. Are you highly paid in perched now all. Offer an organization known to monitor employees shot. They're public relations preparation of financial operations. Wings' territory there could be rolled into account government pretty easily. It was a little to do that. Is it worse. Before. I think don't print reporters at a yard of the people that are presently out of an error of Euro conversion. There obviously not doing anything to change it. But this operation on network for a long long time. Why are we seeing such Hollinger now however some remember wall or a sudden jolt you out from our point cars and now Erie county legislator Burke. Well there you during the a lot of it and who had recently was the yeah the gold bunker troop contrary cor means that the regret Google them. Insular extraordinarily accessible. I think if you're torn out of took a look at what is submitted you couldn't have mentioned that. Deal but they're certainly driven. And right now or is this as happened before in question is whether there and sustained interest and we went shopping on the end of the Jerusalem are. How likely is change possible. I think that the chances are probably less than a certain because whether it's a complicated process I think if you have the best solution would be the year of devolution of authority and all of the functions and you're gonna government. People need to remember that when you are recorded a career and almost seventy years ago there really wasn't much of the county government a bar are on order sort of larger now there while developed administration and county government are by the contractor and they're prepared to take on these things but. Two unravel all of that would. Ancient China would also says he nurtured into their legislation filed a moment. On the actually searched on those emotions and abolished Norton so it comes down to. But will. To witness to push out and that's mostly of women voters' cup that that will Mets to two with a much. The first thing is that really the people in the community are ending at the very least here you know your helper here our legislators as arch old. People need at least a position the column also at the very least it's response. You know for the people of the community. Erie county lawmaker Patrick Burke is asking questions and we'll do so before a public hearing at which the water authority commissioners and executive director. Were invited to attend. You know and in need public authority law which which creates the which created you're trying to water authority. It explained that the purpose of the water authority is for the benefit of the people public benefit of the people are coming in your state. And really wanna get the bottom if that's still their mission that they're operating that. Pat you've invited. The Erie county water authority commissioners as well as executive director Earl chance to you know the coming. We have got an official response from them yet I would. Should only incurred from the com. Again in in the public or deploy it lays out what the power of the legislature although they're very limited to appoint commissioners. They also says that the elect. The board supervisors which the legislature. Has the power to the salaries. Water authority. So it there's. You know if they're unwilling to engage in very important public discussion that I think we're at the start looking into other measures. On those other measures to what action can be taken in the very short term within the next couple weeks or months. On the water authority is there any action that can be taken on this a golden parachute to work. I know some of the members who have been nine charge in the water authority for years. So I mean there will be actions so there were. To really especially true our current that you republic oratory mr. little ones who who signed off on the school musical Bershard contracts. Certainly. I don't think they should be there after doing some like this so at least one of them won't be there. In in pretty short order. Because it is terms expiring. I think we will move quickly choose to. Remote put up an air cool we. I get promises and assurances that they won't do that type of thing again the other part of that angle on this little old golden parachute contract. Is that the workers be easily beat the water work the guys who early in the holes. You know in the freezing cold policing he. Those guys go without Patrick per year in the people get a golden parachute contract awards have been jamming at my side I think it's another angle that you people. Should be your mind about reminded of that error actual real they're real work in real public servant in the water authority. And unfortunately they're they're not being treated very well. In a Petri into the water authority's long been criticized as a patronage pit sure. But don't you support replacing Bobby Anderson with a big democratic donor I mean isn't that is contributing to the problem. So I'm going to do. I support. We're moving Bob Anderson from that position I certainly think there's eight systemic problem here and we have to look at it. With what we're gonna do to walk territory long term. Now if again going back the public or law it was really only if it later that was only really a function for twelve years. Then after bombs were finished it would be enveloped in county government. So once upon and 13 that's our are covered they essentially legally go under the guise of comic government which. Then would they can be held to higher count by the public. So we have to certainly look at it he 088. Systems. Reboot as far as changing commissioners that the structure that that exists right now I mean. I can't change their only to change that from my position but don't operate with what we have. And it means being Bob Anderson there are overloading members again. These these contracts were down by the specific people that were especially egregious and I'm remote. What was shouldn't when you talk about removing and replacing. Shouldn't these Pete new people coming in replacing. Should their be some sort of rule on the books where it should have no ties. To either party whether it be Democrats or Republicans or should that be something that. You guys look at did then all the news that's out there right now about patronage and about how corrupts. It may have back. It be great site. Oh I think we all agree that you know no one likes this or that the oracle patronage that they don't they don't do their purpose. Of the public. Good backing senator crawled all except that there there is some. Reality to it that much we will likely change I don't know I mean it seems too good. You know currently the longest human being. I would like to change it I don't think we can change a low level of county legislature I can only. Do it's possible within the framework power of the body I meant. We've heard these calls for reform at this water authority before. Do you think this time is there something different. All are so there's clearly something that again the what was done this was so blatant it was this. That they are. I mean I I've been elected official her. I get a relatively short time but a lot of legislator for four years and it it's it's doses. Certainly. You know since I've been involved I think them the most serious. Where where people feel energized her form. I'm just one last appoint on the city you mentioned replacing with the in the structure that is in place said that's how you have to act but I'd does that structure necessarily call for somebody who so. Entwined with the party I mean does it have to be a donors that's something. That might be re examines. Given the news out there right now and how you might now want to follow in the footsteps of what's been done in the past. All absolutely but I saw the structure in places that the chairman of the legislature. Nixon nomination. That means so the only thing we can go on and who's not. That that is the structure that at. Ideally it would not be it would not be so hung heavily involved in politics. Look we're getting these positions. That being said you know. The water authority commissioners are not at the executive director so I think. Bought the problem the bigger problem on executive director response at all. Note something about are already public health. You know would be the directors are. Ministerial positions so I mean you don't need you know you don't need. A Ph.D. in microbiology you need to be healed and how to run an organization. And this footnote just in a statement from the Erie county water authority. Quote we appreciate your county legislator Patrick Burks invitation to meet today with the government affairs committee. As we informed legislator Burke this date and time conflicts with the authority's board of commissioners regularly scheduled board and committee meeting. Given more advanced notice we would certainly accommodate legislator Burks request. We await his suggestion of future meeting days and times. And quote. Stated our. That's 9:30 PM 716. We're back tomorrow with a net a radiation from the studios of WD EA and buffalo law.