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Thread: Why I like the County Manager/CE Solution from Charter Review

  1. #1
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    Why I like the County Manager/CE Solution from Charter Review

    Citymouse said the following on the Thread "Volunteers Screwed Again by Erie County"

    Hey Cindy, not to change the subject but I hope you are not in favor of a city manager and keeping the county exec. The thought of Joel getting paid what he does to cut ribbions and kiss babies defines the term "waste of taxpayer dollars".
    One or the other please. We don't need both.
    (Personally I think we should sack the CE and hire the manager)


    Solar Eclipse suggested 'start a new thread' so... here it is

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    To get this started

    Here is an email I wrote to a constituent today, and the WS BEE article i included (names changed to protect the innocent).
    Dear Ms. XXX;

    First of all, while I dont disagree with you that we could go from 15 to say 9 legislators and I would support that downsizing, I do not agree that those 6 positions have anything more than an incidental impact on the County's financial problems. In fact, on a Per Capita basis, Erie County has fewer legislators than many of its Peer Counties in NYS. For example, to our north, Niagara County has 19 Legislators representing 220,000 residents vs our 15 for 950,000 residents.

    I do agree with you on term limits for ALL county wide electeds and I am currently working on the details of a Resolution with Legislator Kathy Konst to propose Term Limits.

    Most importantly, I suspect you have not yet been educated on all of the aspects of the proposal for a County Manager and you are making a classic mistake of disregarding its benefits, just because Joel has 18 months left on his term and there would be an overlap.

    While I intend on conducting as many educational outreach efforts as possible to explain and debate the concept, I will give you some of the highlights here.

    1. It is a common misconception that the County Manager is creating another layer of Government. This is a false assumption. In fact, the approach outlined by the Charter Rev Commission is "Budget Neutral" even with retaining a county wide elected Chief Policy Officer (the County Executive). This means that the consolidations and restructuing of departments and positions will NOT result in additional personnel.

    2. Since I began I have believed that the Pure County Manager Form of government should be adopted. the Pure Form means, just the County Manager and a Legislature, no County exec. Now that I have been on the Legislature for almost 6 months, I can see why retaining a county wide elected seat such as "county exec" is a good idea. It boils down to the age old concept of Checks and Balances among the branches of government. In this case, one of the most compelling reasons for retaining a County Exec, is the Exec's VETO power over the Legislature. In a case such as we have now of an imbalanced blend (ie, 12 to 3), the power of veto is critical. You can see its value in the misguided Legislative initiative for legislating anticompetitive bidder qualification requirements on County Work.

    3. The Professional County Manager will be NONPARTISAN, NONPOLITICAL AND INDEPENDENT OF SPECIAL INTEREST INFLUENCE. These characteristics of unfettered government as we have now, are the life blood of patronage. Please review the attached article I wrote for the Bee on this point.

    4. The Professional County Manager will be held to performance benchmarks, goals and objectves and will have credentials and experience in Public Administration, Municipal Finance, Municipal Budgeting and public sector 'best practices'. NONE of these job requirements are instilled in any of the current job descriptions for the leadership positions in our government. For an entity that "manages" over ONE Billion Dollars a year, that's an embarassment.

    I hope you give these facts some thought and reconsider your oppostion to the County Manager Solution. In my view, it our best hope.

    best regards,

    Cindy Locklear


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From:
    Sent: Tue 6/6/2006 11:33 PM
    To: Locklear, Cynthia
    Subject: downsize


    Ms. Locklear,

    Part of Erie County's financial problems are based on the oversized number of

    Legislators and the lack of term limits.

    We do NOT need a County Manager if Joel Giambra is staying on the job.

    But he and his friends have proven they are incompetent

    Thank you,
    Teresa
    Last edited by CindyLocklear; January 2nd, 2008 at 06:23 PM.

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    my bad... a mistake in reading

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    Citymouse Says

    The thought of Joel getting paid what he does to cut ribbions and kiss babies defines the term "waste of taxpayer dollars".

    I cant disagree with that in its Truth... but this is a classic 'dont thro the baby out with the Bathwater' scenario.

    Let's look at the timing issue. From today, Joel has about 18 months left in his term, and there is nothing anyone but Pataki (or his successor) can do about that.

    If this goes to referendum in Nov 2006 and becomes effective 1/1/07, that would permit a search, recruitment and transition period to take place throughout 2007. If you concur that a reduced scale/pay/function county wide electe is a decent idea in balance with a Public Administration Professional, once we get through 2007 the annoying overlap will have been tolerable and worth it.

    Cindy

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    Cindy,

    The idea of a county manager is a bad one for a number of reasons. The biggest one is you are taking the power of choice away from the voter and giving it to the legislature. Fifteen people will decide not the electorate. When people vote for a County Executive it is like a referendum of leadership every four years. Even though I am not a big Dennis Gorski fan, he managed the government quite well. The voters became complacent and so did the county legislature. Gorski lost the election because his shelf life was over and his personality became abrasive.

    Pretty Boy Giambra came in with his big promise of cutting taxes 30% and the legislature went along with him because it's always popular to cut taxes. This is how you get re-elected. Surpluses, tobacco money and one shots propped up the House of Cards county government. When the cupboard became bare, the House collapsed. This is the same legislative structure that was just as responsible as Giambra for the financial mess that is going to have the power to select the County Manager. No thanks.

    If you think patronage is going to go away in this system, you're smoking some bad weed. Patronage exists everywhere including the private sector. Just look at school systems where "patronage doesn't exist", see who strangely gets the jobs.

    When you ran and beat the cigar store Indian Wroblewski, you beat him because he was so bad. They did know who you were but you offered them change and hope. Wroblewski was incompetent The voters of South Cheektowaga and West Seneca realized this. I will say that they have become an enlightened electorate and they would want a say in what goes down.

    The whole idea of the Charter Review Commission is a sham. They are a boat load of former political has-beens that have been resurrected from the scrapheap to damage the community again. Names like Rath and Arthur just make me shudder. Nobody goes to public hearings because they know that nobody listens to the people anyway. It would be more constructive to go bowling. At least they could knock down some pins. The Commisions minds are already made up. They,ve been told what to do by the people that appointed them. It's window dressing to make it look like the people were included.

    When you ran for your office you talked about abolishing the legislature. I don't hear that any more. I also have heard you push for a hard control board. If that happens please abolish the legislature because it won't be needed. The state will run the County and the City and the voters will be totally disenfranchised.

    Stop being hung up on that damned apprentice bill. It's time to move on. It passed and your wasting time beating a dead horse. Let the court decide if it's unconstitutional, not you. In the big picture it's incidental. It could come back to bite you. You are a very intelligent person. There are bigger fish to fry.

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    He is Right about a lot of things he says. Particularly the voter referendum thing. I didn't look at it that way before, but it makes sense.
    The chances of us getting another troll like Joel are pretty slim. Maybe a county manager isn't such a good idea.
    One thing for certain, we don't need both.
    "If you want to know what God thinks of money just look at the people he gave it to."

    By the way, what happened to biker? I miss the old coot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by count alucard
    Cindy,

    The idea of a county manager is a bad one for a number of reasons. The biggest one is you are taking the power of choice away from the voter and giving it to the legislature. Fifteen people will decide not the electorate. When people vote for a County Executive it is like a referendum of leadership every four years. Even though I am not a big Dennis Gorski fan, he managed the government quite well. The voters became complacent and so did the county legislature. Gorski lost the election because his shelf life was over and his personality became abrasive.

    Pretty Boy Giambra came in with his big promise of cutting taxes 30% and the legislature went along with him because it's always popular to cut taxes. This is how you get re-elected. Surpluses, tobacco money and one shots propped up the House of Cards county government. When the cupboard became bare, the House collapsed. This is the same legislative structure that was just as responsible as Giambra for the financial mess that is going to have the power to select the County Manager. No thanks.

    If you think patronage is going to go away in this system, you're smoking some bad weed. Patronage exists everywhere including the private sector. Just look at school systems where "patronage doesn't exist", see who strangely gets the jobs.

    When you ran and beat the cigar store Indian Wroblewski, you beat him because he was so bad. They did know who you were but you offered them change and hope. Wroblewski was incompetent The voters of South Cheektowaga and West Seneca realized this. I will say that they have become an enlightened electorate and they would want a say in what goes down.

    The whole idea of the Charter Review Commission is a sham. They are a boat load of former political has-beens that have been resurrected from the scrapheap to damage the community again. Names like Rath and Arthur just make me shudder. Nobody goes to public hearings because they know that nobody listens to the people anyway. It would be more constructive to go bowling. At least they could knock down some pins. The Commisions minds are already made up. They,ve been told what to do by the people that appointed them. It's window dressing to make it look like the people were included.

    When you ran for your office you talked about abolishing the legislature. I don't hear that any more. I also have heard you push for a hard control board. If that happens please abolish the legislature because it won't be needed. The state will run the County and the City and the voters will be totally disenfranchised.

    Stop being hung up on that damned apprentice bill. It's time to move on. It passed and your wasting time beating a dead horse. Let the court decide if it's unconstitutional, not you. In the big picture it's incidental. It could come back to bite you. You are a very intelligent person. There are bigger fish to fry.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    The count says:

    "It's better to look forward than backward."

    "It's better to look forward than backward."
    Well said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dino330
    Well said.
    i couldnt agree more, especially with this: "The biggest one is you are taking the power of choice away from the voter and giving it to the legislature."

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    Here's an answer... Just pay Joel his 18 months of pay in full Monday morning and replace him with someone compitent. I would hire Sam the County Manager I think from Elmira for the short term.

    It's not the structure but the incompetence at the top downwards.

    You can take a very stuctured successful business and replace the "management" with Daffy, Goofy, Moe, Curly, Larry and it would fail. It's not the structure it's the people.

    The legislature should be ashamed of themselves they haven't vocally pressed in anyway to dump Giambra. Wether it's possible or not is not the point. Does any one here acutally feel "reform" is on thier minds? If it is you'd like we would hear alittle more about it.

    The more I think about the "fake" control board, the politically appointed Erie County Review group we should demand insolvency.

    No dis-respect to Daffy, Goofy, Moe, Curly, Larry.

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    I was very impressed when I heard Sam Iraci speak about the Professional County Manager position at FB's forum on county government. If it is done properly, the person hired will have performance standards specified in a contract with tangible benchmarks used to measure performance.

    We do not get that kind of accountability out of our elected officials now. A professional manager does not have to worry about pleasing specials interests or towing the line of a particular political party. It is an independent position free of the political corruption which has led to so many of this area's problems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident
    The legislature should be ashamed of themselves they haven't vocally pressed in anyway to dump Giambra. Wether it's possible or not is not the point. Does any one here actually feel "reform" is on their minds? If it is you'd like we would hear a little more about it.
    This isn't the first time that I've heard this; it probably won't be the last.
    But seriously Rez, you're just flapping your gums. I have no love for that thug, but there is not way to "dump Giambra". We are stuck with that slug for the next eighteen months, like it or not.
    If you want to be able to dump any of his successors, I'd suggest that you hie to the next Charter Review Commission meeting and speak your piece; although I wouldn't take odds on those hacks actually listening to you.
    ya'see, they wouldn't want to set a law in motion where they could actually be fired for incompetance! The system now is play the game and hope nobody remembers come November.
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    I have read this thread twice and have yet to find one reason why a county manager is a bad idea.
    All I am reading here is complaints about Joel and other various people. There is nothing more than this in the entire thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by count alucard
    1)The idea of a county manager is a bad one for a number of reasons. The biggest one is you are taking the power of choice away from the voter and giving it to the legislature.

    2)This is the same legislative structure that was just as responsible as Giambra for the financial mess that is going to have the power to select the County Manager. No thanks.
    No explanation as to why or how the a county manager is bad. Just reactionism that reads the county manager is bad because count alucard said so.
    A county manager, I know this maybe a difficult concept for some but a county manager - "Manages".

    Then to end with this:
    Quote Originally Posted by count alucard
    Stop being hung up on that damned apprentice bill.
    Just rings of union spew.

    Madam Legislator we do need a manager for this messed up county that has been run into the ground due to the lack of good managment. WNY is what happens when you allow labor to dictate policy.
    Last edited by LHardy; June 10th, 2006 at 07:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LHardy
    Madam Legislator we do need a manager for this messed up county that has been run into the ground due to the lack of good managment. WNY is what happens when you allow labor to dictate policy.
    I think that if we go over to a County Manager, then we should eliminate the position of County Executive at the same time. I also believe that we should at that time, go back to the Board of Town Supervisors.
    Maybe then we can kick-start this area forward again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LHardy
    I have read this thread twice and have yet to find one reason why a county manager is a bad idea.
    All I am reading here is complaints about Joel and other various people. There is nothing more than this in the entire thread:



    No explanation as to why or how the a county manager is bad. Just reactionism that reads the county manager is bad because count alucard said so.
    A county manager, I know this maybe a difficult concept for some but a county manager - "Manages".

    Then to end with this:


    Just rings of union spew.

    Madam Legislator we do need a manager for this messed up county that has been run into the ground due to the lack of good managment. WNY is what happens when you allow labor to dictate policy.
    And now I know word for word what the repuplicans think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dino330
    And now I know word for word what the repuplicans think.
    I really hate when people feel the need to put a label, democrat or republican, on the problems with the political system. It is broke and needs to be fixed. That doesn't not require partisan finger pointing, just electing people of any party willing to put their own selfishness aside.
    The path is clear
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