Our Erie County Executive Chris Collins likes to tell people he's a businessman, well tell me if this makes good business sense.
Channel 2 looked into his budget.
He's sitting on an large surplus, much of it stimulus money, yet stiffing the library out of millions dollars, gutting the culturals, and dismantling the comptroller's office, a political rival and check on his power.
He is, however, giving the Deputy County executive a pay raise and creating a new worthless position, Director of Real Estate at $129-thousand a year.
So if it isn't all doom and gloom why isn't Collins spending the surplus?
Well, first it didn't come from six sigma, the federal government wrote him a check and that may end soon.
Second, he has an election year coming and he wants to brag about his surplus.
Here's an idea Chris, maybe if we didn't have to keep paying for all those lawsuits you attract, we'd have a few extra bucks in the bank.
Stimulus money is supposed to go into the community not make you look good in an election year.
What I'm lead to understand from this budget is the money is there, the library system, the arts and the Comptroller's Office are no where close to breaking the budget.
With an 88-million dollar surplus, it's petty to cut 4-million from the library, it's petty to cut $600,000 to groups like Shakespeare in the park, and it's petty to gut theComptroller's office, one of the few standing up to you right now.
Voters wanted fair, not petty.
And so far that's you're legacy heading into your re-election year.
Good luck with that.
I'm Tom Ragan and that's my two cents.