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>County won't appeal ruling upholding hard control board

Erie County officials have decided not to appeal the ruling that upheld the control board's decision to become a so-called hard control board.

County Executive Joel A. Giambra said he prefers to work with control board Chairman Anthony J. Baynes on ideas to streamline county government, as well as urging local governments to merge their services.

Baynes, in a written statement, said he is "pleased that the county has not added to the regrettable burden of this baseless case by pursuing what would have been a frivolous appeal."

The Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority in November voted to become a hard control board that can reject decisions by elected leaders. The Giambra administration challenged the vote, arguing the control board had not even let officials adopt a budget before asserting more authority over county finances.

State Supreme Court Justice Diane Devlin dismissed the county's lawsuit in January, saying the control board had not acted prematurely or arbitrarily as it entered a "control period."


>Oishei Foundation awards $101,750 grant

The John R. Oishei Foundation has awarded a two-year $101,750 grant to the Elmwood Village Association, formerly Forever Elmwood.

The association, which fosters business development and neighborhood amenities in Elmwood Business District, will use the funds to hire a full-time business development specialist and upgrade its marketing efforts.

"It is exciting to be in a position to grow our business programming efforts," said Executive Director Justin Azzarella. "The new staff person will pay particular attention to areas of the Elmwood Village that have struggled with vacancies and closures."

Marketing efforts will include new streetlight banners along Elmwood Avenue and an updated map and guide for tourists and visitors.


>Host families sought for exchange students

Host families are needed for high school students from a variety of countries for the fall semester and the 2007-08 school year, the ASSE International Student Exchange Programs reports.

For information, call Chuck Donelson at 731-1442.

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