BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Erie County Water Authority has been critized for years for being a patronage post. But the board says they are trying to change their ways.
The open position at the authority is a part-time job that pays around $22,000 per year. But it's a job that comes with power and influence over hiring and awarding contracts and several contenders made the case for why they should be commissioner on Thursday.
Jack O'Donnell currently holds the position and is reapplying for another three-year term.
"We're really trying to get as much as possible the politics, the waste, the inefficiencies out of the Erie County Water Authority," O'Donnell said.
Amherst attorney Christopher O'Brien, who's been mentioned as a frontrunner for the post, talked about the role he would play.
"When issues come up, and there are questions to be asked ...to ask those questions. To raise my hand and if necessary to raise my voice," he said.
Legislator Edward Rath hopes the selection process will be open and fair.
"I sure hope the decision wasn't already made because O'm a believer in the process. And the process occurred today. So we are mid-stream. This is not a done deal in my mind's eye," Rath said.
Joseph Weiss is also applying. He's a former Clarence Town Board member and businessman who's not afraid to speak his mind.
"I would sit down with each person there...what are doing, what's going on. I've got a good inner compass I can smell the blood in the water. I can look at somebody and tell them when they're lying to me," Weiss said.
Joe Mascia is a Buffalo Muncipal Housing Authority commissioner who's spent four decades in the construction industry.
"I'm hoping it's me," Mascia said. "I know you're not going to get anybody who's going to work harder. I've been a hard worker. I think the people here who know me know my reputation."
Erie County Legislator Terry McCracken says eventually the field will be narrowed.
"We'll caucus. The Republicans will. The Democrats will. There's an Independence member and there's a Conservative member. So they'll all have the opportunity to put a name forward," he said.
The Legislature will soon vote on filling the highly sought after post, which expires in April. There are three commissioners on the Water Authority serving three-year terms.
A Buffalo Police vehicle was involved in a two-car crash around 8:40 a.m. Monday. The crash happened at Bailey and LaSalle Avenues.
A Buffalo city jail cell block attendant was arrested early Saturday morning on multiple animal cruelty charges.
An airman from Niagara Falls was away training for the Air Force for months. After being apart from his family, he decided to surprise them at Kelly’s Country Store in Grand Island.
Police say that with the assistance of local media, they were able to identify the person responsible.
Monday is being billed as a national "Day of Action" among teachers and community groups who are worried about the state of education.
Police say 29-year-old Joshua Sullivan was already issued an order of protection that prohibited him from subjecting the child to any verbal or physical abuse.