January 28, 2009

Despite Contract, Lewis Looks To Get Out

We've made no secret of our dislike for Niagara County Manager Greg Lewis. He thinks he is a county executive, running the county like a little fiefdom. He has shown utter disdain for the taxpayers, the unions, the legislators, the department heads and anyone else who would dare to question his authority, including the local newspaper, radio station and cable TV.

We have been critical of both Lewis and the county legislature for their respective handling of Lewis' open job search while under contract with Niagara County. It has been our belief that Lewis showed blatant disregard and disrespect to those who have placed their faith in him, including the residents of the county. He has never committed to the future betterment of this county, only looking for what he believes to be his next opportunity. The legislature, apparently incapable of seeing Lewis' lack of commitment to our area, simply let Lewis' job search go on while wallowing in uncertainty.

Lewis had said that he wanted to stay in Niagara County, but needed to look for a new position because the Leg wouldn't extend his contract at the exact moment that he wanted it extended. He needed the stability of a new deal. Many of us can recall him going on LCTV wearing a very large "I 'Heart' Niagara" button, his way of making some sort of statement about his supposed commitment to Niagara County. The Leg apparently bought into this propaganda and rewarded him with a new four-year deal with a hefty raise.

Lewis was hired in May of 2003 after a similar stint in Minnesota. He's often talked fondly of Minnesota. Apparently, he wants to go back to Minnesota.

In a stunning development, Niagara Times has learned that Lewis has been actively seeking employment while under the guise of being committed, and under contract, to Niagara County. The below press release, found on the St. Louis County (MN) website, states that Lewis is one of five finalists for their position of County Administrator. The release states that Lewis first applied for the position in August of last year, not long after he was given the sweetheart four-year deal from the county legislature. He then recently re-applied for the job. Lewis was to have interviewed for the position just two weeks ago, while on the payroll of Niagara County, as he did during the last round of his search for the next best thing.

Enough is enough. Lewis obviously does not want to be here. This is just one position that we know of that he has applied for. Who knows how many more there are? How long is the county legislature going to allow Lewis to make them look so foolish?

These are extremely difficult economic times. We demand someone who is committed to guiding this county through these challenges, now and into the future. That person is not Greg Lewis. If he doesn't want to be here, fire him. Now.

People often say that government should be run more like a business. Well, guess what: his behavior would never be allowed in the private sector. It's called disloyalty, and it's grounds for immediate dismissal. It's time for the legislature, the employer, to get its tail out from between its legs when dealing with Lewis. Dump him and send him back to Minnesota on your terms, not his. We deserve that much.
(Click to enlarge)


Paladin said...


Barney said...

Oh I don't know he seem to be "nice enough" when I see him on LCTV

Paladin said...

Was that when he was in the stained sweatshirt or when he had the teddy bear, Barney?

Dark Knight said...

This is an opportunity for a classic win/win. Greg Lewis doesn't want to be here and we don't want him. Time to send him packing.

Paladin said...

Try pasting this link into a separate browser window, and playing it while reading Hobbes' post. It will make reading the post all that much more enjoyable.


Paladin said...

OK, this one is even better.


Frank DeGeorge said...

The one thing that you can say in this Obama post-partisanship era is that Lewis is a screwup of both parties.

Dennis and Rene brought us this wonderful gift and Needler and Ross extended it.

Hooray for everyone working together.

Dark Knight said...

Nice point, Frank. Both sides own the mess that is Greg Lewis. The question is will the super duper Majority Caucus (sans Needler now) have the fortitude to pull the trigger?

Mr. Pink said...

I think you guys are being a little harsh. If every person who ever hunted for a job while they already had one got fired, we'd all be out of work.

No, I think the Legislature should just make it clear to Lewis that his contract will clearly not be renewed and he should be encouraged to look (and accept if offered) employment elsewhere.

Paladin said...

Sounds great, Pink, in theory. But in practice it means the man the Legislature entrusted with running the government for 218,000 people doesn't really care about doing that job anymore. As a taxpayer, and Lewis' boss, I expect him to give 100% devotion everyday. Clearly he's not. And we all deserve better.

Toss him to the curb.

Barney said...

I agree with Pink... People should be able to look for work...this is America.

And If the Leg wants someone that "loves" Niagara, then next time, they should hire someone that lives here or someone that has left and that is looking to get back here.

And Paladin, I guess I missed the two shows that you are referring to. Maybe I can catch them on the LCTV greatest show DVD.

Dark Knight said...

I'm pretty sure Greg Lewis reads this site, so before anyone else offers, I would like to put a bid in for $10 for your oversized I Luv Niagara button that you wore around like a dolt for a year, embarassing this community wherever you went.

Paladin said...


Don't give LCTV any ideas. I'm picturing Lori & Friends blooper reels, Tammie Lee Demler's interview with the barbecue guys, the famous Ask the Mayor grudge match 22-second charity bout between Tucker and Soos, and all the Bicentennial Update you can ask for!

James T. Kirk said...

Barney & Mr. Pink, I understand your points of view, but I think this is a unique case. If most of us want to leave our jobs, it isn't massively disruptive. If the CEO wants to leave his job, on the other hand, that can cause huge problems. That's why companies regularly terminate CEOs who go looking for other jobs, and sports teams do the same to head coaches when it comes out they are interviewing elsewhere. Most of us are mere cogs in the machine; Mr. Lewis is the man at the top of that machine. His secretive depature was set to cause problems for the County's entire government. The legislature and the taxpayers all deserve a steady ship. This is a government, not some company. Mr. Lewis' decision to look for another job would have left us all in the lurch. And the legislature would have had to quickly find a replacement, maybe not the best person for the job, as he jumped ship. Now, the legislature has no choice, as I see it, but to immediately begin a replacement search and terminate Mr. Lewis as soon as a replacement who actually wants to be here is found. We, as taxpayers, deserve as much from our government. And Mr. Lewis doesn't believe we do.