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Letter: Do not scapegoat Schad on Water Authority issues

So, just to be clear: Republicans run the Erie County Water Authority into the ground and insist on a golden parachute for the ECWA’s former executive director…and it is the Democratic commissioner who should be forced to resign?

In the aftermath of a scathing Authorities Budget Office report, it is unlikely that anyone disagrees with the fundamental premise that sweeping reform is needed at the ECWA.

While there is no doubt that the ECWA delivers high-quality services to hundreds of thousands of people every day, it is also undeniable that a culture of entitlement and patronage has severely damaged its credibility with the public.

Given the ECWA’s critical mission, a crisis of confidence can’t be allowed to continue. Whether the solution is making the Authority a department of Erie County government is an open question deserving of serious, considered debate.

Serious, considered debate is exactly what is missing in the rush to punish new ECWA Chair Jerome Schad.

He wasn’t in charge when the violations enumerated in the ABO report occurred; now that he has begun to make progress on the very reforms recommended by the ABO, it is cynically suggested that he’s doing so because of political pressure rather than principle.

Schad deserves the chance to prove the cynics wrong.

Republicans are extremely adept at making a mess of governance and transferring the blame to Democrats, as anyone who lived through the post-recession Obama years knows all too well. Let’s not them get away with it now.

Melissa Magiera


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