By Paul Wolf, ESQ.
An Analysis of the Erie County Legislature
In November every member of the Erie County Legislature is up for re-election. Now is an appropriate time to review what actually takes place in the Legislature. Every two weeks Legislators have an open floor to propose new ideas by filing resolutions and proposing local laws. The dictionary defines a legislature as a deliberative body that has the power to make, change or repeal laws. The analysis below shows that not much deliberation of substance takes place in the Erie County Legislature and very few laws are acted on. The number of local laws passed by the Erie County Legislature in 2014 was 3:
• Penalizing private land holders for allowing consumption of alcohol by minors other than dependents of the land holders, on said property, (Lynn Dixon).
• Amending the Erie County Charter in relation to the Erie County Community Coordinating Council on Children and Families, (Lynn Dixon).
• Relating to the leasing of approximately two acres of vacant land with an option to lease an additional one-acre parcel on the South Campus of Erie Community College to West Herr Toyota of Orchard Park, (John Mills).
Legislator Loughran – Not A Man of Initiative
By Paul Wolf, Esq.
For the past several years I have analyzed what the Erie County Legislature does. In 2014, the Legislature addressed 683 resolutions. Of these 683 resolutions, sixty percent honored individuals and community groups, twenty five percent honored people who recently died and only fifteen percent addressed county business.
In November all eleven Erie County Legislator’s are up for re-election. Sadly only six legislators have an opponent so many will be re-elected without any real examination or debate of their record. Through this article and others to follow, I will be taking a closer look at incumbent legislators who have an opponent, starting with Legislator Thomas Loughran who represents a district covering the town of Amherst.
Loughran Has Not Managed To Put His Stamp on Much of Anything
Thomas Loughran was elected to the Erie County Legislature in 2005, after serving as an Amherst Town Board member. In 2007, when seeking re-election, the Buffalo News stated: “… so far Loughran has not managed to put his stamp on much of anything”. After 10 years of service, it appears the same quote still applies to Loughran.
In 2014, Loughran did not serve as the prime sponsor of a single item of substance. In 2013, Loughran was the least active member as far as filing items of substance. Loughran will add his name as a co-sponsor of items but he brings forward very little of his own initiative.
Loughran did take the time to file three resolutions honoring individuals who died during 2014, and he filed 25 resolutions honoring individuals and community groups. Even with those efforts the number of items he filed were at the bottom when compared to his colleagues.