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Collins adds 10 to transition team

Erie County Executive-elect Christopher C. Collins, who has promised a fresh approach to governing, has named to his transition team some people well steeped in the the ways of government.

Joining the team's executive committee are:

* Former state Attorney General Dennis Vacco, who was among the Republicans who thought Collins would make a good county executive. After serving a term as attorney general, Vacco became a lobbyist and was accused by the state Lobbying Commission of irregularities in the way it filed documents. Vacco's wife, Kelly, is the GOP's preference for a vacancy on the Erie County Water Authority.

* Former state Motor Vehicles Commissioner Nancy A. Naples, who as Erie County comptroller in 2004 said the government was not running a deficit when it was, as outside auditors would prove. She resigned as comptroller in 2005, before her term expired.

* Lobbyist Marina Woolcock, a former aide to County Executive Joel A. Giambra. Woolcock is president of the firm Government Action Professionals Inc. It includes former Buffalo Mayor Anthony M. Masiello and former Deputy County Executive Carl Calabrese.

* State Sen. Mary Lou Rath, R-Williamsville, who helped Collins campaign and is the daughter of the first Erie County executive. Her son, Edward Rath III, will join the County Legislature in January.

* Alphonso O'Neil-White, president and chief executive officer of HealthNow New York, the county's health care provider.

* Dan Gernatt, the chief executive of Gernatt Asphalt Products, which has been a vendor on county road projects.

* Anne Leary, an activist instrumental in preventing a Wal-Mart from landing in East Aurora.

* Mark Celmer, former president and chief executive of Multisorb Technologies.

* Paul Harder, chief executive of the Cliffstar Corp., a private-label juice company in Dunkirk.

* Robert Sadler Jr., vice chairman of M&T Bank.

The 10 will work with transition committee co-chairmen Philip C. Ackerman of National Fuel Gas Corp. and Philip M. Corwin of the Talking Phone Book.

"Earlier this month, the taxpayers of our community spoke loudly for change," Collins said in a written statement announcing the executive committee. "It is my goal to begin to deliver that change on the first day of my administration. That is why my transition team is so critical."

He said it will help him recruit the best and brightest and find ways to reform County Hall.


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