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Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan primarily covers stories related to Erie County government. A Buffalo News staff reporter since 2000, she previously covered Buffalo Public Schools, Amherst and other communities. She is particularly interested in shedding light on issues and people that tell us something important about how we live. email: stan@buffnews.com


Erie County

Troy P. Schinzel, Erie County's commissioner of parks, recreation and forestry from 2012 to 2015, has been reappointed by Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz to the post that became vacant when Parks Commissioner Daniel J. Rizzo retired at the end of June. Schinzel left Erie County to accept a position with the Dallas Parks and Recreational Department. Poloncarz tou…

Bills

When Erie County accepted his $4,551 bid for roughly 40,000 square feet of old Buffalo Bills field turf, Pat Brady was racing his sailboat 100 miles off the East Coast. He didn't learn he won until three days later. That's when the Buffalo resident discovered he had two days to pick up 54 rolls of turf, each weighing several tons. He had to move fast. He secured spac…

Erie County

Joseph L. Maciejewski, Erie County's top administrator for property assessments, resigned from his post after the county placed him on paid administrative leave last Thursday, pending an investigation into remarks he made at a state function. Maciejewski told The Buffalo News Wednesday that he has decided to resign as director of Real Property Tax Services instead of le…

Politics

Howard J. Johnson Jr. defeated challengers Katrinna Martin and Tara A. Craig in the Democratic primary to keep his District 1 seat in the Erie County Legislature, representing neighborhoods in the heart of Buffalo. The district covers Buffalo's entire Central Business District and neighborhoods to both sides. All three candidates entered the race as relative newcomers t…

Erie County

Legislator April N.M. Baskin, the youngest person to chair the Erie County Legislature at age 36, was re-elected to her 2nd District seat Tuesday in a competitive Democratic primary. Her re-election solidifies her leadership standing since becoming chairwoman two months ago. Meanwhile, Lynne M. Dixon easily won her Independence Party primary for county executive. Democr…

Erie County

Erie County Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin won a rematch in Tuesday's Democratic primary for the 2nd District seat, beating National Guard veteran Duncan Kirkwood. Baskin faces no serious challengers in the general election, given the heavily Democratic district. Baskin was named Legislature chairwoman during her first term in office. The 2nd District encompasse…

Erie County

Endorsed Democrat Lisa M. Chimera, a Tonawanda Town Council member, has won the Democratic primary race against her challengers to the Erie County Legislature 3rd District seat. The 3rd District stretches across North Buffalo, Kenmore, Riverside and University Heights. [Related: Click here for a map of Erie County Legislature District 3] Chimera was one of three cand…

Erie County

With Peter Savage leaving the Erie County Legislature to become a Buffalo City Court judge, a town councilwoman and two political novices launched bids to replace him. The 3rd District stretches across North Buffalo, Kenmore, Riverside and University Heights. The candidates are Cindi M. McEachon, a nonprofit director; David Amoia, a self-employed Kenmore resident; and e…

Erie County

A high-ranking Erie County government administrator has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into "inappropriate remarks" he allegedly made at a state function last week. The county has launched an internal investigation regarding verbal remarks made by Joseph L. Maciejewski, the county's director of Real Property Tax Services, while serving…

Erie County

The Erie County Legislature unanimously approved creating a new corrections advisory board Thursday to provide input and recommendations regarding the operation of the county's local jails. The new Corrections Specialist Advisory Board would include citizens with an interest or background in social justice, prisoner rights, probation and mental health. The board would a…

Erie County

Three fresh faces are vying for the opportunity to represent an Erie County Legislature district with neighborhoods in the heart of Buffalo. Next week's Democratic primary will likely decide which of three candidates will represent District 1 that covers Buffalo's entire Central Business District and neighborhoods to both sides. All three are newcomers trying to fill a …

Erie County

The Whistleblower Hotline is a phone, email and online system the Erie County comptroller uses for tips about fraud, waste and abuse in county government. Now, Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw intends to use the hotline for one more purpose — to expose and report to federal authorities the names of immigrants in the country illegally who apply for driver's licenses anywhere…

Erie County

Tuesday's primary for the 2nd District seat is the only Erie County Legislature primary in which an established incumbent squares off against a challenger. Incumbent April Baskin, now the Legislature chairwoman, faces a rematch against National Guard veteran Duncan Kirkwood. The 2nd District encompasses some of the richest and poorest sections of Buffalo, crossing the m…

Erie County

Erie County Clerk Michael "Mickey" Kearns took his first legal step to fight a new state law that allows immigrants in the country illegally to obtain a New York State driver's license. Kearns sent a letter to the Erie County Attorney's Office on Tuesday seeking legal representation. "As I understand it, this Act requires that, as an agent of the Department of Motor …

Erie County

Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard told county lawmakers Thursday that he has no problem with a corrections advisory board being re-established. Howard said he supports "the creation of an open-minded, honorable advisory board." Though he has a few concerns, the sheriff said he believes the board's work could benefit the Sheriff's Office and the public through recomm…