A cascade of political events fell in the favor of Alfreda Slominski, helping pave the way for her successful run for Erie County comptroller — a job she went on to hold for 18 years.
It was already well into the election cycle when eight-term U.S. Rep. Thaddeus Dulski announced he was going to resign at the end of the year. Erie County Comptroller Henry Nowak replaced Dulski on the ballot and spent the next 18 years in Congress.
With no incumbent as comptroller, the popular Slominski was elected based on the conservative thriftiness she not only espoused, but lived. In running for comptroller, Slominski and her staff recycled signs from her unsuccessful mayoral bid five years earlier by pasting the word “comptroller” over the word “mayor.”
Slominski’s aggressive bulldog nature had a permanent impact on the comptroller’s job. In this piece written before her election, she was called a “watchdog.” It was Slominski’s style and approach that lent the name “fiscal watchdog” to the post, seemingly into perpetuity.
"Mrs. Slominski is proud of her 'watchdog' title"
“’I don’t just talk about (fiscal responsibility). I have tried to do something about it in my 12 years on the Board of Education and Common Council.'
" 'The title of 'watchdog' is one I have earned,' she said."