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Erie County Water Authority director passes on new car

The new executive director of the Erie County Water Authority has decided against accepting a new car.

Last week, the Erie County Water Authority agreed to buy a new $32,000 Chevy Traverse.

The authority named Earl Jann, who had been its chairman, as the new executive director a month earlier.

Board Chairman Robert Anderson said it was up to Jann to decide whether he wanted the vehicle.

Jann, in a statement released this week, said he will not accept the new vehicle and instead drive a car from ECWA's pool fleet when he needs to travel for work reasons. As executive director, Jann is one of five high-ranking administrators entitled to a vehicle for 24-hour personal use.

A new SUV for new Water Authority director? It's up to him.

"Even though my new position allows for it, I never intended to take a personal vehicle from the Water Authority," Jann said in the statement. "Like many employees here, I often must travel from one end of our vast distribution system to another during the work day. In these situations, I'll utilize company motor pool vehicles. Any reporting to the contrary is just dead wrong."

A board resolution Thursday cited "changes in spending priorities, availability of funds, or changes in other circumstances" for the need to purchase a new vehicle even though the new vehicle had not been budgeted for this fiscal year. At that time, Anderson said Jann was still deciding whether he would accept the new vehicle.

"That's up to him," Anderson said.

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