The Cookies May Be In For Water Authority Position

7:00 PM, Feb 14, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - On Thursday, nine different people looking to be appointed as a Commissioner at the Erie County Water Authority were interviewed by county legislators, seeking the three year appointment.

But political sources tell 2 On Your Side it looks like the cookies may already be in for Chris O'Brien, an Amherst attorney.

During his interview, O'Brien admitted he didn't know much about how the authority operates, or have any big ideas for change.

"To be honest with you I don't have any revolutionary game changing ideas," O'Brien told legislators.

So why would legislators appoint O'Brien?

Over the past year, O'Brien has given $5,000 to the Erie County Democratic party and its new chairman, Jeremy Zellner.

That's something O'Brien did not hide from on Thursday.

"I have been a Democrat for many years I've always been proud to be a Democrat, but I also been someone who's willingly and openly tried to engage members of my own party and the other party in discussion because I think we're better for that," said O'Brien.

Another person who interviewed on Thursday was the man whose seat is up at the end of April, Jack O'Donnell.

Over the last three years, O'Donnell has tried to cut patronage jobs and reduce costs at the authority.

And it's precisely for those reasons that it looks like O'Donnell will not be reappointed by the legislature.

"My understanding is that the party bosses want someone else for this job for exactly those political reasons- they want to have control, they want to have the money. My hope is that the Erie County legislature thinks about their constituents and the ratepayers," said O'Donnell.

For her part, the legislature's chairwoman Betty Jean Grant, says no decisions have been made.

"I have not interviewed any of the candidates, I have not talked to any of them," said Grant.

















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