Giambra: "Erie County Water Authority a political operation"

Posted at 6:26 PM, Mar 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-06 18:26:54-05

New York candidate for governor, Joel Giambra wants to flush water authorities across the state down the drain. 

The independent candidate believes water authorities like Erie County are a water of taxpayer’s dollars. 

“Both the Republican and Democratic Parties, for years, have been taking turns abusing the rate payers of Erie County,” Giambra said. 

Historically the political party in control of the county legislature appoints commissioners to the authority. Those commissioners then terminate the water authority executive. That person usually goes home with nearly a half million dollars owed from what some call a “golden parachute” contract. 

State Assemblywoman Monica Wallace, a Democrat, is pushing a state bill to limit the amount of severance pay authority executives receive. She said they should only get three months of pay. 

“To me this is government at its worst and it’s a slap in the face to the rate payers of Erie County,” Wallace said. 

Erie County Water Authority Executive, Earl Jann was appointed to the job by a Republican commission. Some say his days are numbered at the authority, now that a new Democrat administration is taking over. 

“We are here to do a job. I’m here to perform for our rate payers for our customers. I don’t look at this from a political point of view at all,” Jann said. 

Erie County Legislator, Patrick Burke who’s a Democrat, is calling on Erie County Water Authrotity to provide answers to the public. 

Burke provided this statement to 7 Eyewitness News:

“My office will issue a FOIL request to the Erie County Water Authority for all outside contracts over the past 5 years. My office will also issue a FOIL request for Executive Director Earl Jann, Jr.’s “golden parachute” contract and all documents, memos, and emails regarding his parachute contract. I am also calling on the Erie County Comptroller, Stefan I. Mychajliw, to begin a full audit of the Erie County Water Authority so that the public can be provided information about the institution that is responsible for ensuring water quality for all of our residents.” 

Erie County Legislature’s  Government Affairs Committee will discuss this Erie County Water Authority issue on Thursday  at 11 a.m. in Old County Hall.

Take WKBW Everywhere, on all your devices.  Download below!

Phone or Tablet: Apple, Android
Set-top Device: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Alexa

Personalize your news, get the latest 7 First Alert Forecast, and watch 7 Eyewitness News video wherever, whenever.

Learn more here about what 7 Eyewitness News provides on all these devices.