Mayor Byron W. Brown has ousted one of the city Water Board's most experienced and outspoken members.
Board Vice Chairman Warren K. Galloway said he received a letter last week that ended his 12-year stint on the volunteer panel. Galloway had been a hold-over appointment since 2006, when Brown succeeded Anthony M. Masiello as mayor.
Brown was out of town and unavailable for comment Tuesday, but his spokesman said the mayor has been continuing to review appointees to city panels. Peter K. Cutler said no one is disputing Galloway's "positive contributions" to the Water Board.
"But it's the mayor's responsibility to make appointments, and we felt that now is the right time to exercise this prerogative," Cutler said.
Galloway said his ouster took both him and some Water Board staffers by surprise, especially because three people on the seven-member panel are new and attended their first meeting only two weeks ago.
"Change is fine, but I think I could have helped during the transition," said Galloway.
Galloway is a senior executive assistant to Republican County Executive Joel A. Giambra. Cutler denied that political motives had anything to do with the ouster. Galloway wouldn't speculate on a motive.
Galloway has been among the Water Board's most outspoken members. He backed an effort three years ago to sell the city water system to the Erie County Water Authority, a plan that was blocked by the Common Council.
Most recently, he expressed concerns about Brown's appointment of a city Sewer Authority official as Water Board chairman. Oluwole A. McFoy serves as secretary to the Sewer Authority's general manager. Questions surfaced as to whether McFoy would face conflicts of interest by serving dual roles. Galloway said the issue was resolved after it was decided that McFoy would abstain from voting in instances when both water and sewer operations are involved.