June 5, 2008

Niagara County Department of Homeland Security

Question: How the hell did Niagara County Manager Greg Lewis convince the Leg that the county needs to create a Niagara County Department of Homeland Security, with a $75,000-a-year director chosen by the county manager? Does Lewis have a pocket full of magic fairy dust that he throws in the face of legislators to place them under his spell?

Back in January 2006, the Department of Homeland Security stated that Buffalo and Erie and Niagara counties were in jeopardy of being taken off the list of approved areas under the department’s Urban Area Security Initiative, instead placing it on what is called a sustainment list. If NC were to be taken off the list of approved areas, Homeland Security dollars would stop flowing to our area.

While Niagara County currently
has a place on the federal list of funded cities, which is a good thing, there's no guarantee that the funding will continue. If nothing else, sunset the position contingent upon the continued flow of dollars to fund the position.

In addition, we currently have the Department of Homeland Security, NY State Police, the Coast Guard. the County Sheriffs Department, with a marine unit, Border Patrol and additional agencies protecting the county. I'm sure they're all breathing a huge sigh of relief now that Niagara County has a Department of Homeland Security.

The NCDHS Department will get a new director and most likely some clerical staff. What's it going to be next year, an additional staff member or two?

Seriously, this is ludicrous. The Leg needs to revisit this issue and seriously consider Lewis' request for this position. Obviously DHS has very specific criteria for spending DHS dollars, so it couldn't be used to reduce taxes. It could, however, be allocated to first responders throughout Niagara County for equipment that would be so vital in the event of a terrorist threat.

Time to take another looks at this one, folks. It simply is not justified.

29 comments:

Frank DeGeorge said...

You are right on, Hobbes. This is complete and utter Lewis bullshit and the fact that is passed unanimously shows how both Republicans and Democrats are being led like sheep.

Watch and see...Greg Lewis will hire one of his cronies from the Mid West for the gig.

I'm disgusted with the whole Legislature over this.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least there is one sane person in Niagara County....Ernie Palmer. He immediately has my vote for sheriff for calling out everyone on this stupid idea.

Anonymous said...

Who the hell does Lewis think he is? He looked like an idiot on Ch 2 News last night (as did Sklarski and Kimble)trying to defend this. The more they talk, the more this smells like manure.....and it stinks real bad. Lewis has to go.

A unanimous vote? Who had Ernie Palmer's back on this. They should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Frank your an idiot, Dennis and Rene voted against it. Please don't count the fake dems, those are the sheep that march to burmaster/ross orders. Yea hobbes you may lose your parking space if Henry reads this post, but he's too busy sniffing james j fingers.

Anonymous said...

Dennis and Renae voted for it...what part of unanimous don't you understand.

Anonymous said...

Dennis and Renae voted for it, but they did object to this useless department and they were forced to vote yes or be called giving aid to the arab's.

Richard Strongbridge, Ph.D said...

I feel safer now that NC has their own department. No wait....I don't.

Anonymous said...

Dennis and Renae voted for it...it was part of the the consolidate slate that was pre-approved in the working groups.

Anonymous said...

And I thought that the Repuplicans are all about cutting taxes and downsizing government... Oh the exception..... When it's one of their buddies....

Larry S said...

Nice try, but this is a Lewis push, a Lewis hire and the person will report to Lewis, not the Legislature. Don't let the facts get in the way of you spewing your political bullshit, Dan. Shouldn't you be planning your last days as chairman of the assault women, errr, Niagara County Demoncratic committee?

Anonymous said...

Larry come on, the leg have the right to vote YES or NO and override Lewis if they wanted. They vote YES because they were told to. Will you please stop trying to defend the leg and yes it is political BS. Thanks for noticing.

dark knight said...

I'm disgusted with all of you. Dems voted for it. Reps voted for it. It passed unanimously. Let's call all them out for what they are: a bunch of sheep being led around by Greg Lewis.

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Anonymous said...

I miss the good old days when one side was in control and ran the place. If you didn't like that side, you voted for the other.

Renea and Dennis brought this pox, Greg Lewis, on our house.

The Grand Ole Party stalwarts reuppped his contract.

They all suck. Dark Knight is right. It doesn't matter who is in control, they're all sheep.

Anonymous said...

I like Dr. Richard, phD better than Dr. Larry, phd. Dr. Richard is much shorter, much more sarcastic and much more in tune with what's going on.

Bumpkin Lewis is going to hire another bumpkin friend....yes I feel safer.

Anonymous said...

News Flash... Lewis will hire look a like retiring clown Frank Clark for this new job!!!

Anonymous said...

One sane person Ernie Palmer!?!?! Where was Ernie back in January when Lewis proposed this position? Why didnt he have anything to say about it then. Seems like the perfect opportunity for Slick Ernie to come out and stick it to the Leg all the while fighting for the common taxpayer.

gop shill said...

Where is Voyteur on such an important issue? Busy picking up Beilein's laundry and washing the Sheriff's car?

Richard Strongbridge, Ph.D said...

What is the point of this position anyway? To coordinate all the different agencies previously mentioned if something happens? Does that mean the Feds, Coast Guard, Sheriff, etc. will be taking direction from whoever is the head of said agency?

And where do I submit my resume?

Anonymous said...

at a time when gov't in nc and nys should be cut, the govt manages to create MORE govt jobs...when will the cuts begin? start with the leg!!!

Anonymous said...

Here's reason # 2,398,564 for why every county and part of NYS is overtaxed and why people and businesses are forced to leave.

Anonymous said...

Lewis on channel 2 called us penny-anny good work hobbes hire more idiots.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Niagara County Democrat Committee for hiring Greg Lewis. What's that? It's the Dems who brought this moron to town who is taxing us to death, who voted to keep him and give him a pay raise, who attacked Republicans who wanted him gone. Yes, thank you Democrats.

sick & tired said...

From here, the sky's the limit. This is the beginning of establishing professional public safety coordination. The VFDs are sorely in need of real leadership and accountability. These sacred cow clubs have way too much leeway in how they operate and they sorely lack in a true incident command structure. Too many chiefs, as the say. The current guy JV, has no accountability as he is civil service. he does some good work, but his title as "Coordinator" is a misnomer.

The police agencies are upset because they are even more turf oriented than the VFDs and they see this move by Lewis as an incursion into that turf. Cops are not dumb, and they can see that this is just the first step in merger and consolidation of the way too many police agencies we have in Niagara County. It is right and fashionable to note the top heavy bureaucracy of the way too many central school districts, but the truth is that police agencies are susceptible to the same critique and criticism. The is much overlap and duplication of services in the administrative end of police work.

And once again, the short-sighted and selective critics of Lewis see only the salary.

What's funny is that many of you who are criticizing position praised the idea of a public Information officer and will probably even defend the new patronage attorney appointment coming to the conflict office taking the majority caucus at its word that its cost effective, all the while they refuse to produce the documents to substantiate their claims.

Anonymous said...

Thank you sick and tired for an informative post.

Larry Castellani said...

An ounce of prevention....or as Niagara Heritage Partnership's Bob Baxter puts it on their website:
"In the euphemistic language of Chairman Ross, the horrific destruction of the Twin Towers would be called a “major incident.” Nearly seven years after this “incident,” the Niagara County Security Plan fails to reduce, or to even recognize, the potential for such an “incident” at the New York Power Authority generating plant in the Niagara gorge. Traffic crosses the entire length of this generating facility on the Robert Moses Parkway which, incidentally, also permits this traffic to drive directly under the Niagara County end of the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge to Canada. There’s just enough room under the bridge so that an eighteen wheeler or a tour bus or a huge Ryder truck could roll snugly into place. Is this recognized as a threat? Apparently not." So, in short, Lewis' new brainstorm is not worth it if it's not about prevention.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you could make that claim for many bridges in this area, grand island, raiwbow, etc. Didnt you teach Timmy Mc?

Anonymous said...

That’s right Anon, blame the Niagara County Democrat Committee for hiring Greg Lewis. What makes us great is not to blame others, but grow a sack large enough to correct others mistake. The present Niagara County Legislatures must be happy enough to keep Lewis, because if they weren’t there would already be an inquiry into his effectiveness and a bid to get rid of him. Lewis will be the fall guy and all the present Legislatures like that.

rob clark said...

Man I have been away from this site for a week. It looks like I missed alot. Greg Lewis looked and sounded like an idiot on tv the other night. How can this guy defend the need for this.

One of the anonymous posting stated the fact that there are to many people incharge already. How is this person going to come in from somewhere else and take control. They will get some facts and figures and go to town trying to run everythng. Meanwhile the people on the "frontline" will suffer.

Take the 75,000.00 and put it to good use. Try finishing the communications problem that we currently have. Most of the agencies involed in homeland security in Niagara County CAN NOT TALK WITH ONE ANOTHER. But hey atleast we created another job to cut down on unemployment. And this time all of the Legislature is at fault. Good job guys.

Anonymous said...

Rob,

I couldn't agree with you more. This a disgrace on every legislator and has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with incomptence and the unwillingness of ALL legislators to challenge Greg Lewis.

I thought the Legislature would improve with the departure of Mal Neelder who was nothing more than a Lewis apologist but the more thngs change, the more they remain the same.