Two politically connected Democrats, both former public officer holders, were hired at the Erie County Water Authority last week.
Terrence McCracken, a former Erie County Legislator, was appointed the authority’s director of employee relations, while Robert R. Catalino II, former Evans supervisor, was hired as a meter service worker.
McCracken will be paid $96,934 a year. Catalino’s annual salary is $45,427.
McCracken, who starts work Tuesday, was hired with temporary civil service status, as the position is pending jurisdictional classification.
Catalino, who started last week, was appointed on a provisional basis and eventually will be required to take a civil service examination in order to keep his job.
McCracken served one term in the Legislature representing the 8th District that includes the eastern part of Cheektowaga and all of both Lancaster and Alden. He decided against running for a second term in 2013. McCracken previously served as general crew chief for the Town of Lancaster’s Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department. Prior to that, he worked at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
Catalino is vice chairman of the Evans Democratic Committee and served as Evans Town supervisor from 1993 to 2007.
The Erie County Water Authority has long had a reputation as a patronage haven, where the politically connected can find employment. A spokesman for the water authority said proper protocols were followed in filling the two positions.
Both positions were posted on the Erie County Water Authority website before they were filled, according to Brian A. Gould of e3communications, which handles public relations for the authority. That is the protocol the Water Authority Board of Commissioners adopted in 2012, Gould said.
“All open positions in the Water Authority have to be posted and that policy was followed,” Gould said.