Some facts, observations and heard-on-the-streets

We are now just seven weeks away from one of the most momentous elections in the history of the United States. I know that might sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not.

All midterm elections are, to some degree, a referendum on the occupant of the White House. Donald Trump’s words and deeds make that even more likely in 2018.

That’s not to say, however, that there are not local issues. In fact, for different reasons both Democrats and Republicans are working hard to emphasize local issues. The Democrats know that Trump’s low standing does not require them to talk about him; instead they are emphasizing local matters in their various districts. The Republicans, on the other hand, are trying to talk about local issues in order to get voters to forget about or to ignore Trump. That is difficult when Trump steps in doo-doo every single day. Continue reading

Financial and management issues at Erie Community College — Part III

Blog posts last week reported on financial and administrative issues at Erie Community College as well as the contract between Erie Community College and Canisius College for the provision of ECC student housing at Canisius. Today’s post concludes this series of reports by examining the use of expense accounts by senior management at ECC.

That spending is significant even while it is proportionally one of the smaller expense items at the College. Its significance speaks to the approach of the school’s leadership to their fiduciary responsibilities. College revenues, regardless of the expense category, come from the collective pockets of the students as well as county, state and federal taxpayers. Continue reading

Financial and management issues at Erie Community College — Part II

Tuesday’s post reported on issues related to developing financial problems at Erie Community College. Today’s post explores an issue that the College is touting as a win for the school:  the contract with Canisius College for the provision of student housing at Canisius for ECC students.

The two schools see the agreement as a win-win proposition. ECC would have dorm rooms available for some of its students, while Canisius, which has empty dorm rooms because of declining enrollment, would receive some much-needed revenue. Here’s part of the announcement of the deal as reported on the Canisius website on June 6th: Continue reading

Financial and management issues at Erie Community College

Over the years Erie Community College (ECC) has had its share of ups and downs as the institution navigates the waters of higher education. The school plays a vital role in training both young and not-so-young men and women for careers or to prepare them for continuing their education at a higher level.

There are 16 institutions of higher education in Western New York. Except for SUNY at Buffalo, the local colleges all pretty much depend on local high school graduates to fill their classrooms. Unfortunately the number of high school graduates has been diminishing and the trend is expected to continue. Continue reading

Special election wrap-up; ECC’s next budget; overdoing the Bills hype and underdoing Sabres failures

In case you didn’t notice, there was a special election for the State Assembly in the 142nd District yesterday. A total of 11,124 voters (out of 85,579 eligible) came out in West Seneca, Orchard Park, Lackawanna and parts of Buffalo to elect a new representative.

So thirteen percent of those eligible voted. The winning candidate, Erik Bohen, received about 5,831 votes. Less than seven percent of the eligible voters made him an Assemblyman. Continue reading