What if they gave an election and nobody came?

Tuesday’s primary elections were some of the most anticlimactive political events that I have ever seen – a very boring day. It was like Erie County voters collectively sighed, “whatever!”

The race for Mayor of Buffalo in the Democratic primary seemed pre-ordained for a long time. Mark Schroeder and Betty Jean Grant gave spirited efforts. Schroeder’s TV ads were very well done and he put the best effort into telling voters what he would do in the next four years. For the most part Schroeder and Grant’s attacks on Mayor Brown’s record were professional and controlled. Continue reading

The Republican commitment to enacting Trumpcare comes to a fork in the road; In Memoriam, Father Vincent M. Cooke, S.J. and Bill Mariani

So this is what all the waiting was for? A warmed over hybrid of Obamacare and the House “repeal and replace” bill is all the United States Senate Republicans could come up with? They hid in a secluded room for weeks to produce this?

I’ll give them this: amending Obamacare is hard and complicated work. Who knew? Continue reading

Salaries and contracts — ECMC, ECWA and ECC

There was a time during the financial meltdown of Erie County government in 2005 when the Erie County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Erie County Fair tried to distance themselves a bit from the “Erie County” part of their names. It was understandable, since Erie County wasn’t a very positive brand name at the time.

We could be coming to a point where Erie County government might, by name association, become concerned about other entities that are affiliated in some fashion with the government, yet still remain essentially independent. I am referring to the Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMCC, or more commonly, ECMC), the Erie County Water Authority (ECWA), and Erie Community College (ECC). Continue reading

Issues and unintended consequences concerning a state “free tuition” plan

An old expression goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement last week proposing a free college tuition plan offers new opportunities for many families with incomes under $125,000. It also raises a number of concerns. There might be some unintended consequences if the plan is approved by the State Legislature. Continue reading

ECC planning for senior management raises and a structural realignment

The Board of Trustees of Erie Community College, at their meeting on Monday, November 21, will vote on a resolution that provides a schedule of salary increases for the School’s senior staff, which is known as the Senior Executive Staff, or SES. The Board will likely also review a re-alignment of its management structure, eliminating, adding and re-titling a number of positions, and changing some reporting arrangements. Continue reading