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Erie County

A local chief financial officer and engineer with no political background, no history of campaign contributions and no history of prior public employment applied to be the new executive director for the Erie County Water Authority. And in a departure from past practice, commissioners gave him the job. H. John Mye III, an Amherst resident, was the only local candidate…

Local News

Nov. 15, 1957 - Nov. 20, 2018 Growing up in Lackawanna, Robert A. Mendez was easily accepted into an older cohort in the mid-1970s at Lackawanna High School. He was driven to succeed. So it wasn't a shock to those who knew him that Mr. Mendez, while still in his 20s, was tapped by Lackawanna's mayor to serve as executive director of the Lackawanna Municipal Housing A…

Erie County

The chief financial officer of an environmental consulting firm emerged as the front-runner to become executive director of the Erie County Water Authority. But the search has been a difficult one. H. John Mye III, an Amherst resident, is a licensed professional engineer who served as vice president and chief financial officer for Ecology and Environment, an internation…

Erie County

In a 6-5 vote mostly along party lines Thursday, the Erie County Legislature called on Chairman Peter Savage to fire Erie County Water Authority Chairman Jerome Schad. Schad, a Democrat, is the last remaining commissioner who served on the three-member authority board when the state released a scathing report outlining numerous ECWA governance and transparency failures.…

Erie County

An internal audit on how the Erie County Water Authority dealt with public information requests found the agency improperly handled 42 percent of those it received in 2016. Last year,  the authority mishandled 18 percent of the Freedom of Information Law requests. "I think the findings confirm the suspicion that the oversight of simple fundamentals was bad," said aut…

Erie County

The Erie County Water Authority is considering raising water rates by 2 percent next year for all customers and raising infrastructure charges on major commercial and industrial businesses by 50 percent. Budget work sessions, which will allow public comment, will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday and 11 a.m. Thursday. Under the preliminary $77.6 million operating budget, res…

Erie County

Two Erie County legislators have vowed that at every Legislature session between now and the end of the year, they will introduce a resolution to have Erie County Water Authority Chairman Jerome Schad fired. Legislators Thomas Loughran, D-Buffalo, and Joseph Lorigo, C-West Seneca, said they are committed to pressing for the termination of Schad based on the recommendati…

Erie County

The Erie County Water Authority's former executive director plans to take legal action against the authority for firing him, contending he was made a political scapegoat for the failings of others at the authority and that his reputation was unfairly tarnished by his termination. Earl L. Jann Jr. filed a notice of claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, alleging negligent or i…

By Ken Kruly When the Erie County Water Authority was created in 1949, county government hardly resembled the government we know today. A 54-member Board of Supervisors managed the government with no executive office. The authority was created because there was no significant county administrative structure in place that could manage drawing water from the lake, making …

Erie County

An Amherst lawyer got a seat on the Erie County Water Authority board Thursday. And the board's chairman kept his. The Erie County Legislature voted 10-1 to appoint former Amherst Town Attorney E. Thomas Jones to the board. Jones, a Republican, becomes the third Amherst lawyer to join the three-member board. A follow-up effort by five legislators to fire Water Aut…

Erie County

Wanted: New executive director for the Erie County Water Authority to replace a political patronage hire who was fired after intense public criticism. Ideal candidate must be able to withstand intense public scrutiny, rehab the embattled agency's image, competently manage more than 200 employees and still provide 70 million gallons of clean, safe drinking water every da…

Erie County

In what could best be described as an exercise of endurance, Erie County Water Authority leaders spent nearly three hours defending and explaining their actions before the county Legislature in the aftermath of a scathing state report outlining numerous transparency and governance failings. They admitted making mistakes and taking "shortcuts," but they pushed back again…

Erie County

Over the past four weeks, the Erie County Water Authority has been beset by wave after wave of developments, controversies and criticisms that could lead to an overhaul of the organization. The Erie County Legislature on Thursday will call in the authority's chairman, Jerome Schad, to account for past offenses by the agency. They also will explore whether it's feasible …

Local News

The Erie County District Attorney's Office has found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the Erie County Water Authority after careful scrutiny of criticisms laid out by a state oversight agency earlier this month. The state's Authorities Budget Office lambasted the authority for numerous transparency and governance failures, but DA John Flynn said his office found no…

Erie County

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Friday that the most direct way to depoliticize a "political beast" like the Water Authority is to expand its board from three members to seven members and grant them longer, staggered terms. Also, the commissioners should be paid less, he said. He also went on record saying he opposes the termination of Water Authority Chair…