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)