This from Bob McCarthy's column in todays Buffalo News, regarding what political opportunist will be appointed to Tim "Little Antoine" Kennedy's vacant seat on the Erie County Legislature...
• With South Buffalo’s Tim Kennedy moving on to a seat in the State Senate, maneuvering is already under way to fill his vacancy in the County Legislature. Most speculation is centering around Tim Whalen, who is backed by Rep. Brian Higgins—and that is significant.
Also in the mix is School Board Member Lou Petrucci, another familiar name in city politics. Other names being mentioned include Brian Bollman, who works in the office of Council Member Rich Fontana; and Mark Rutecki, an employee of the Medical Examiner’s Office.
The thing to watch in this appointment is in which camp the new legislator lands. While Kennedy was part of a coalition friendly to Republican County Executive Chris Collins, a new legislator might not follow that route and chip away at the Legislature’s current majority.
The situation is expected to be addressed during a meeting of district committee members in early December.
Whalen will mark the third intellectually challenged candidate Higgins has endorsed in a row. (Jeff Conrad and Tim Kennedy were the other two.) Higgins obviously likes to choose people he can control, over those that actually possess leadership ability or intelligence. This way, they will never be a real threat to him.
The South Buffalo rooster tells me there is another candidate in the mix that has the backing of South District Councilman Mickey Kearns, as well as substantial support in Lackawanna. This unnamed candidate plans on running against whomever the Democratic Committee members are told to support. I'll have a name shortly.
It's been my longstanding belief that the entire Erie County Legislature is an irrelevant body. For decades, the all volunteer Board of Managers served the exact same function. They consisted of elected city and town leaders that met with one goal in mind:to approve the County budget. Today, we pay each legislator $43,000 for the part time job of doing the exact same thing! They do nothing else. For proof of this, see Barbara Miller-Williams. In addition to being a County Legislator, she was also a full time Buffalo police officer. She had the audacity to work overtime to pad her police pension upon retirement. How could she work a full time job, plus overtime, and have time to perform any duties as a legislator? Easy. As an Erie County Legislator, one has no duties! We formed an entire new layer of government, costing the taxpayers more money.
I've heard regionalism advocate Kevin Gaughan talk about the old Board of Managers, as well as many other people. It would be interesting to see a protest candidate run (say a South Buffalo blogger) and pledge to do everything possible to call for the elimination of the entire body. What an opportunity to educate the public on where their taxes are really going. You have the salary of the legislators, their full time assistants, and the cost of operating and heating their district offices. Trust me. We can survive without the likes of Tim Whalen or Lou Petrucci taking up space and pretending to be leaders. The candidate's signs could read: Vote for me and help me eliminate my useless seat.If these people want to go WWF, let's go WWF...