Visit Niagara County's homepage, then check out Orleans and Genesee County, two counties very similar to us. On the Niagara County homepage, County Manager Greg Lewis is prominently featured while the Legislature is relegated to the status of a county department. To the contrary, the Orleans County site hardly mentions the manager and the Genesee site is much the same.
This is just one example of what I think is a bigger problem: Our County Manager, Greg Lewis, thinks he is our County Executive. No one elected him to anything. His job is to run the day to day operations of the county and on that, he's done a decent job.
But Lewis wants to be more. He wants to be the big cheese in Niagara County and takes every opportunity to box in the people we elected. Did you know that no department head can speak to the people we ELECTED without talking to Lewis first? What the hell is that about? Lewis is the one who has proposed massive tax increases each year and only through the work of the Legislature have those increases been significantly introduced.
Lewis acts as if all of his ideas are pure and noble and the minute a legislator attempts to move somehting, he accuses them of being political.
And for someone who wants to be the face of the county, it would be helpful is Lewis actually tried to look the part. His sloppy presentation (his union suit pajamas are becoming the stuff of legend) is an embarassment to all of us. He's makes our county look like a bunch of backwood yokels.
My sources have told me that one reason County Clerk Jim Sobczyk was made County Auditor was to reign in Lewis and to begin aggressively overseeing and auditing the way the county functions. Anyone who knows Jim knows he will be a thorn in Lewis' side.
Word on the street is that only Legislator Clyde Burmaster regularly stands up Lewis and holds his feet to the fire. Props to Burmaster. Now lets see the rest of the legislators follow suit and put Lewis where he belongs...answering to the people we elected.