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Six express interest in Water Authority post

The County Legislature has a few candidates for an opening on the Erie County Water Authority. But vacancies usually go to the person offered by the political party whose turn is up.

In this case, the Republican Party has advanced attorney Kelly M. Vacco, the wife of lobbyist and former State attorney General Dennis Vacco.

Under an arrangement formed by law and by handshake, the party that controls the Legislature appoints two of the three members of the authority's board, while the minority party appoints the third.

Since two of the three commissioners are now Democrats, the next pick goes to the Republicans.

By law, no more than two commissioners can be of the same political party, so the Legislature could legally confirm a commissioner enrolled in some minor party. But lawmakers would have to break from the arrangement, which isn't expected.

These candidates have expressed interest:

* Kelly Vacco, a former deputy counsel to the state Department of Health and a former attorney for the Town of Boston, where she lives.

* Independence Party Chairman Anthony L. Orsini Jr. of Springville, a former Water Authority employee who said in a letter that he has a great working relationship with many town leaders.

* Michael P. Dallessandro of Grand Island, who oversees transportation and ground maintenance for the Lake Shore School District.

* Norman H. Ammerer of the Town of Tonawanda, who said in his letter that as a marketing, sales and technical consultant, he has worked on matters involving water quality and served companies in the water industry.

* John P. Moskal of West Seneca, who formerly worked for Meritain Health and works now as an elections inspector and as an usher for the Buffalo Bills. He twice ran unsuccessfully for the West Seneca School Board.

* S. Bruce Kohrn of East Amherst, an environmental professional with master's degrees in chemistry and in science and technology studies. He is a senior project manager with GZA GeoEnvironmental of New York, at its office in Buffalo.

Lawmakers on Thursday are expected to fill the Water Authority vacancy created when Robert Lichtenthal resigned to take the second-ranking job on the authority's staff.

The job of commissioner pays about $22,000 a year, and members meet twice a month.


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