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

So Election Day, November 5th, is just thirty-five days away. Well, actually, Election Day is only twenty-five days away. Early voting is coming to a voting booth near you on Saturday, October 26th for a nine day run.

There will be 37 sites available in Erie County for early voting in 2019. Here is the Board of Elections’ explanation of the process.  The location of the 37 sites can be accessed at the end of the following BOE note. Continue reading

Another fall at ECC

Here we are again. Fall in Western New York – a beautiful time of the year.

But not everyone likes Fall. At Erie Community College (aka SUNY Erie), things are not so great this Fall. Student enrollment for this semester at the College is down again.

It’s not like this is something new. It’s unfortunately part of a continuing pattern, which has seen a substantial drop in enrollment in the past several years. For a school that is heavily dependent on students’ tuition payments, the continuous drop puts a severe strain on revenues, which can then impact the availability and quality of program offerings. Continue reading

How is Erie Community College’s financial health?

This blog has chronicled in many posts the financial issues involved in the management of Erie Community College (aka SUNY Erie). With an annual budget of more than $105 million and a heavy investment of public funds in the institution, it’s an important question.

Like most other colleges in Western New York, ECC has struggled with declining enrollments. Reasons include a smaller pipeline of students in the area and a healthy economy. There’s not much that can be done with the area’s demographics. And a healthy local economy should be cheered, even though historically enrollment drops when people have jobs and are less in need of boosting their educational credentials. Continue reading

Enrollment and revenues are down. Where is ECC heading?

Finding time in their busy legislative calendars, highlighted recently by consideration of the “Feline (Cat) Adoption Promotion Act of 2019,” the Erie County Legislature recently received a presentation concerning the status of Erie Community College. The felines (cats) look like they will be getting some serious attention from the Legislature. The Kats (the ECC mascot) or the taxpayers who help fund their education – not so much. Continue reading

Will Sanders crowd out the other progressive senators? And a couple footnotes on the Erie County Executive race

Welcome to Sunshine Week. Politics and Other Stuff does its part by writing about public institutions that need some sunlight. Sometimes it’s necessary to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.

I haven’t watched American Idol or Survivor in a long time, but it seems like we are living in the political version of those TV reality shows at the moment. The Democratic presidential sweepstakes has people coming in; dropping out; trying to decide what to do – it seems like nearly every day.

I’m sure it is just a coincidence, but why did all the “progressive” senator Democratic presidential candidates all seem to enter the 2020 race in a bunch? And now there may be the march of the moderates – some governors, plus former Vice President Joe Biden. Is Beto O’Rourke in this bunch too? Continue reading