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Thread: Review of Erie County Charter - LOCAL LAW INTRO NO. 3- 2004

  1. #1
    Gold Member Night Owl's Avatar
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    Review of Erie County Charter - LOCAL LAW INTRO NO. 3- 2004

    March 9, 2004
    Legislators File Local Law to Begin Charter Review

    "Conducting a Charter review in Erie County was one of our five key initiatives in the Democratic Action Agenda for 2004," said Legislature Majority Leader Lynn Marinelli (D-Tonawanda/Buffalo), Chair of the Legislature's Government Affairs Committee.

    The Democrats' Action Agenda was released on February 10th and a resolution supporting a Charter Review was approved unanimously at the Legislative Session on February 19th.

    Legislators noted that the existing charter is quite outdated and should be changed to reflect changes at Erie County Medical Center and other proposals currently before the County.

    "Today we filed a Local Law which officially establishes the Charter Commission and revises the members to include the appropriate stakeholders at the table," said Legislature Chairman George A. Holt, Jr. (D-Buffalo). "We look forward to this being a non-partisan effort and we plan several meetings to allow the public to also weigh in on this issue."

    COUNTY OF ERIE
    LOCAL LAW INTRO NO. 3- 2004
    LOCAL LAW NO.____________- 2004

    A LOCAL LAW amending, Local Law No. 1-1959, constituting the Erie County Charter as amended, in relation to the re-establishment, restructuring and reconvening of the Erie County Charter Revision Commission.

    BE IT ENACTED BY THE ERIE COUNTY LEGISLATURE AS FOLLOWS:

    Section 1. PURPOSE. Section 1907 of Article 19 of Local Law #1-1959 constituting the Erie County Charter, as amended, establishing a Charter Revision Commission is repealed, and a new Section 1907 hereby establishing a Charter Revision Commission for the year 2004 is established as a fully amending Section 1907 of the Erie County Charter.

    Section 2. CHARTER REVISION COMMISSION. That upon the adoption of this Local Law the County Legislature hereby creates a Charter Revision Commission to be established on or before April 15, 2004.

    Section 3. THE PERVIEW OF THE CHARTER REVISION COMMISSION. The Charter Revision Commission shall study the operations of the County of Erie in their full scope; and shall consider the inter-municipal relations of the County of Erie and the myriad responsibilities that the County of Erie discharges in the course of its broadly defined duties to determine whether the Erie County Charter and the Erie County Administrative Code shall be further amended to render same as an effective framework for County government, and to adopt such amendments as may be necessary to facilitate the delivery of services to the public and to better coordinate the functions between departments and agencies of the County and the various Cities, Towns and Villages within the County. The Charter Revision Commission shall submit a final report, which shall include its findings, conclusions, and recommendations for appropriate action to the County Legislature and the County Executive on or before the 15th day of April, 2005.

    Section 4. METHODOLOGY OF OPERATION. The Commission shall be provided with adequate funding for staff and costs incident to the discharge of its responsibilities as may be deemed necessary by the Erie County Legislature in the furtherance of its assigned duties.

    Section 5. MEMBERSHIP. The Charter Revision Commission shall be composed of 23 members with one (1) member to be appointed by each District Legislator of the Erie County Legislature. The County Executive of the County of Erie shall appoint three (3) members, and the County Clerk, County Comptroller, County Sheriff, and the County District Attorney of the County of Erie shall have one appointee each to the Commission. In addition to the other designated appointment, the Chair of the Erie County Legislature shall also appoint the Chairperson of the Charter Revision Commission.

    No member of the Commission shall hold public office or be an employee of the County during the term of his/her appointment.

    Section 6. REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. The County Legislature shall act on all reports and recommendations submitted to it in a timely fashion by the Charter Revision Commission by either approving or disapproving each recommendation separately within three (3) months from the date of the submission of the findings, conclusions and report of the Commission.

    GEORGE A. HOLT
    LYNN M. MARINELLI
    EDWARD KUWIK
    MARK J. SCHROEDER
    ALBERT DEBENEDETTI
    DEMONE SMITH
    RAYMOND DUSZA
    TIMOTHY WROBLEWSKI

  2. #2
    Gold Member Night Owl's Avatar
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    IMO- while most probably think the Erie County Legislature is working against the people, items like this should be noted to put things a little more into perspective; that this legislature (love 'em or hate 'em) is working for the people of Erie County.

  3. #3
    Gold Member Night Owl's Avatar
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    Does anyone know how many articles there are in the County Charter?

    Does anyone know what they include?

  4. #4
    Gold Member Night Owl's Avatar
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    This is a thread of serious conversations over the County Charter.

  5. #5
    Member buffy's Avatar
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    There are 21 Articles. I am printing all 81 odd pages out right now. The Charter is available in pdf formate off WGRZ website
    Erie County Charter
    I know someone who is on the Charter Review committee and will ask her where they are in terms of their review.

  6. #6
    Gold Member Night Owl's Avatar
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    I have the link - I only asked because, most people didn't know.

    oh, I found this:

    From Speakupwny.com

    Politics
    LEGISLATOR TIMOTHY KENNEDY TO PROPOSE CITIZEN'S BUDGET REVIEW COMMISSION
    By Gary S. Howell
    Jan 13, 2005, 21:01

    Newly appointed County Legislature Timothy Kennedy (D) is showing he’s not afraid to take a stand. After weeks of conversations with the public, he’s come to the conclusion that, “what the people really want is reform”.

    During the legislature’s next session, Mr. Kennedy plans to introduce legislation to create a Citizen’s Budget Review Commission. The ambitious plan calls for setting up an eleven-member panel to audit the fiscal operations of Erie County. The County Comptroller and the Budget Director will also join the commission as ex officio, non-voting members.

    The commission will meet on a monthly basis. They will be charged with examining the revenues and expenses of the entire County government. Their purpose is to report on County finances and recommend changes in imprudent financial practices.

    Commission members will have access to all financial documents required to fulfill their duty. If they are denied access to documents, they will have the power to subpoena them.

    Commission reports will be presented to the County Legislature and the public.

    Mr. Kennedy proposes the commission members be chosen as follows:

    The Chairman of the Legislature will have one appointment.

    The Majority Leader will have one appointment.

    The Minority Leader will have on appointment.

    The Legislature will appoint one Certified Public Accountant (CPA) from a list of at least three candidates who apply for the appointment.

    One member will be appointed who is a professional in the field of Banking and Finance. The one appointee will be chosen from a list of at least three banking professionals who apply.

    One member will be an Attorney recommended by the Erie County Bar Association. The one appointee will be chosen from a list of at least three recommended Attorneys.

    One member will appointed based on the recommendation of local labor unions. The one appointee will be chosen from a list of at least three union recommendations.

    The other four members will be chosen from the general public. The Legislature will advertise vacant positions. The appointees will be chosen from among those who respond to the advertisements.

    Legislator Kennedy describes his plan as the “a step on the long road to reform. If this administration in not interested in showing a willingness to reform, than I’m not going to vote for the sales tax increase”.
    So even though some think the Legislature isn't doing anything, it's points like this to show that they really are.

  7. #7
    Gold Member Night Owl's Avatar
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    I am printing all 81 odd pages out right now.
    Since we are probably both looking at the Charter right now.

    What do you think needs changing? (by article number)

    *** Anyone else can chime in if they wish... but NOT to comment blindly on others opinions without a cited source of information. I would like to think of this as a working thread by the people. ***

  8. #8
    Gold Member Night Owl's Avatar
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    For me:
    Section 202.3. Increasing the salaries of county elected officials. (page 21)
    While the charter states how increases can be made according to law, I would change that the pay rate should be based on a starting flat rate salary, with no option for voting on increases in the next budget. Leaving adjustments for cost of living increases to coincide with a minumum wage increase.

  9. #9
    Gold Member Night Owl's Avatar
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    Admin, please remove this thread. It is not a free buffalo event and it is worthless; a waste of space. Or encourage posting images of housing in Chicago - I really don't care!

  10. #10
    Member ReformWNY's Avatar
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    Sorry NO - I was on vacation for 2 weeks.
    I'm back now.
    I'll comment on this thread with you once I read what it's about.
    Then we can have us a good Palavar!
    "I know the man. he is not using a theasuarus."

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