BUFFALO, N.Y. - 2 On your Side has learned that the Erie County Water Authority is close to hiring someone with strong political ties as its next Executive Director.
We've learned that the authority's three commissioners are currently negotiating a contract with Robert Gaylord to run the authority on a day-to-day basis.
Gaylord is currently the Democratic Party Chairman in the Town of Collins.
He's also a town councilman in Collins and is a former town Supervisor.
A source tells us that Monday night at a Democratic party meeting, Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Jeremy Zellner announced that Gaylord had been offered the Executive Director's job at the Water Authority.
Although it's not known if Zellner directly recommended Gaylord for one of the top political patronage jobs in the county, the fact that Zellner knows this much about the hiring process shows just how political the process is.
Hiring of the politically well-connected has been a long tradition at the Authority, with friends and family members being placed in good paying jobs.
Often times those hires come at the request of the two party chairmen and go through the Executive Director.
If Gaylord is hired as expected, he would replace Bob Mendez of Lackawanna. Mendez's contract was not renewed by the board.
Mendez was making $154,000 a year and Gaylord's contract is expected to be in that pay range.