January 29, 2009

GOP Better Watch Their Back With Lewis

Now that Greg Lewis has pretty much signaled to all of Niagara County that he'd rather be somewhere else as he pursues a county manager job back in Minnesota, we are sending up a warning shot to the Majority Caucus, particularly the GOP members: Watch your back.

You see, Greg Lewis was brought to Niagara County when the Democrats had the Majority of the Niagara County Legislature. Dennis Virtuoso and Renae Kimble really drove the process to land him and in spite of the GOP Majority that took over in November 2003, Lewis has always been more loyal to the other side....adhering to the old saying, "dance with the one who brung ya."

Lewis himself is a proud and partisan Democrat. During his nearly six year tenure here he has never made any effort to work with Republican State Senator George Maziarz even though a good relationship with the state would be very helpful to the county. Some sources have told us that Lewis has never, ever set foot in Maziarz' office.

Lewis embarrassed himself (ok he regularly embarrasses himself) when it came to light that he was a donor to the Barack Obama presidential campaign, even though he is supposed to be a non-partisan leader. While we say he can back anyone he damn well chooses in the voting booth, he lost a lot of credibility by crossing into partisan politics -- something that is considered a no-no in the professional world of county managers.

So, now that Lewis has one foot out the door, he has even less reason to show any kind of loyalty to the Majority and can be expected to do all he can to undermine them before this November's elections. Just look at how he has tried to control Homeland Security $$$ in the hopes of creating a position that he could fill with an old crony.

Just look at how he announced a huge tax increase in the middle of the election season last time even though that tax increase was never going to pass the Legislature.

Don't forget how he submarined the Leg on the AES Pilot, the one time he hid from the cameras, took no position and left the Legislators hanging out to dry even though they have been proven right on the PILOT deal.

So, to the rank and file Majority Caucus members: Don't be fooled by those whispering in your ear that Lewis needs to stay. Don't make the same mistake Bill Ross and Mal Needler made when they thought they could trust Lewis and gave him a new contract.

He has shown his true colors...you should show him the way out of town.


Paladin said...

"GOP Better Watch Their Back With Lewis" Uh, Hobbes, what is that, breaking news from 2005?

Paladin said...

Still, we're with you 100%. There's nothing more dangerous than a self-destructing captain at the helm of your ship. Look at the Exxon Valdez.

James T. Kirk said...

Paladin, you seem a little too glib about all this. I, personally, think that Mr. Lewis has created a bad situation for the legislature, and they really have no choice here but to ask him to step aside. He clearly cannot be trusted to have the best interests of Niagara County or its elected government at heart, or even to do more than "phone it in" from here on out. Your analogy of the Exxon Valdez may be apt, though, because now Niagara County is a ship adrift. Who will give any credence to what Mr. Lewis says among the workers, the managers, the subordinate leaders in Niagara County. They're just going to look at this man, yawn, and think, "You'll be out of here soon enough, pal. I'll still be here." Nothing more will be accomplished. No one will take him seriously as a leader.

Unfortunately, though, for all of us, even a leader with no influence still can do enormous damage, and maybe the most damage of all. When he so clearly has a vendetta against the governing majority, that's doubly dangerous. Hopefully, he will do the right thing and hand in his resignation now. Or the Legislature can ask for it.

Frank DeGeorge said...

The Legislature should begin the process of replacing Lewis right now. There are a lot of good people out there looking for work who could make a positive contribution to Niagara County. Why wait?

Barney said...

And this guy is meeting with Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand when will make her first visit to Western New York - Funny

"...She is scheduled to meet there with Mayor Byron W. Brown, County Executive Chris Collins, Niagara County Manager Gregory D. Lewis and Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards, among others..."

Paladin said...

We bet Greg took extra care this morning to choose his best stained sweatshirt for the meeting.

Still, shouldn't he be meeting with Al Franken?

Actually, come to think of it, notice how he rushed right out like a lapdog for Kirsten, but has yet to introduce himself to George Maziarz?

Frank DeGeorge said...

Wait a minute. This isn't funny now. The new Senator shouldn't be meeting with a clown who has one foot out of town. Greg does not speak for this county.

Bill Ross better step up and make this right. Ross is the one who should be meeting with her.

rob clark said...

Hobbes....its been awhile but you have a good post here. Most of the comments sound like the ones I've been making for awhile now. I really hope he makes a good impressionn with our new senator in this meeting. Hopefully he leaves the red sweatshirt he so dearly loves at home for the meeting.

Paladin, and James T. Kirk, nice screen names.