A memorial service for Philip J. Cook, former executive director of the Erie County Water Authority and a former City of Buffalo budget director, will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Central Meeting Room of the Central Library, Lafayette Square.
Cook, 61, died unexpectedly March 22, 2001, in Handan, China, while working on several water-purification projects for the World Bank.
From 1990 to 1996, he was deputy director and then executive director of the Erie County Water Authority after serving earlier as deputy administrative director. He introduced numerous management and financial reforms and brought the Water Authority back to the bond market after a 12-year hiatus.
Since then, he worked on World Bank projects in the Chinese provinces of Yunnan, Liaoning and Shandong, turning state water-supply and wastewater-treatment plants into self-sustaining facilities. He also consulted on the reorganization of water- and wastewater-treatment plants in Egypt for a U.S. Agency for International Development project.
Born in Philadelphia, he attended high school in Ithaca. He attended Cornell University, served in the Army and received a bachelor's degree in political science with honors from the University at Buffalo. He later earned a doctorate in policy studies from UB and helped establish UB's department of management/policy studies.
He was appointed to his first public post in 1969, as a consultant for the Buffalo Model Cities Program. He then became a consultant to the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency and supervisor of a special city budget project.
Cook was appointed research director for the Buffalo Office of Crime Control Planning in 1972 and the next year became senior management analyst in the city's Division of Management Services.
He was named budget director by Mayor Stanley M. Makowski in 1974 and served until 1976, when he became administrator of the city's Office of Community and Economic Development. From 1978 to 1984, he was director of the Assembly's Office of Management and Budget.
Cook also was president of ACL Inc., a research and consulting firm that worked with political and nonprofit groups. In addition, he served as a pollster for the Democratic Party.
He also taught management and finance courses for utility executives. He taught in Cornell University's Industrial Labor Relations Extension School, the State University at Albany, UB and Medaille College.
Cook published numerous articles and reports for government and professional agencies. He also was co-author of "The Anatomy of a Riot: Buffalo, 1967."
Fluent in German, he also spoke French and Spanish. He credited his love of languages, classical music, art and travel to the time he spent as a boy in Germany while his parents, both labor organizers, did work under the Marshall Plan. A lifelong activist, he supported many political and charitable causes.
Surviving are his wife, Hope Hoetzer-Cook; a daughter, Debra Samantha of Doraville, Ga.; a half sister, Susan of East Fairfield, Vt.; a half brother, David of Seattle; a foster brother, Thomas Bernstein of New York City; and a foster sister, Adelheit Troescher, a member of Germany's Bundestag.