We write that today because of the documents below, which have wandered into our possession. Niagara County’s county manager—who, when we last checked in, was busily sending resumes to every county with an opening at the top of its bureaucracy—has decided to expand upon his earlier set of “recommendations” to county leaders, offered several months ago.
NCCC President Jim Klyczek will be thrilled to hear that Lewis is recommending that the county “freeze the NCCC Budget for the next three years.” Aside from the fact that such a move would effectively kill the college’s proposed Culinary Arts Institute, we’re kind of curious how Klyczek will be able to meet payroll. Maybe Lewis just sees NCCC as another Mount View, waiting to be financially euthanized. We’re dying to see what Mr. Klyczek has to say, though, about this recommendation. (And, actually, we kinda wish we hadn’t banned Larry Castellani from this board, because we’d like to know what he thinks, after all of his support for Greg Lewis.)
We’re sure, too, that Lockport Supervisor Marc Smith will be excited to hear that Greg wants to “close the County Golf Course and transfer property to the Town of Lockport.” Now, we’re not sure what the rationale for that decision is—the course is, after all, not a money loser—but we’re pretty confident Mr. Smith has never had any conversations with the county’s bloated figurehead about such a move. Taking over the golf course is a rather involved process. There are liability issues, union issues and state issues. There are costs, such as personnel and maintenance. There’s the whole question of whether Lockport would even want to get into the golf business, or whether Lewis just wants a popular county recreation facility to go to seed because he, well, doesn’t golf.
And then there’s Sheriff Jim Voutour. Now, in his 11 months in office, Voutour has shown himself to be a strong advocate for his Department. So, we’re kind of wondering about Lewis’ plans to “conduct Multi-Agency Incarceration Study and implement study’s findings and conclusions.” Um…it just seems to us that something like that should fall under the county’s top lawman, who was elected by a helluva lot more people than Chief Bureaucrat Greg Lewis. We also are curious if Lewis ever talked to Sheriff Voutour about planning a “cell phone usage sales tax go to the County to fund Sheriff’s Communications Center.” We also wonder how the cities, towns, and villages in the county will feel about this one: “Require other jurisdictions to use and pay a share of centralized dispatch through Sheriff’s Communications Center to qualify for Homeland Security funding through the County.”
Greg seems to be doing a lot in Sheriff Voutour’s name.
Of course, those aren’t the only new costs. Lewis also is pushing, again, for the county to “adopt a mortgage tax with revenues to the County to fund public works operations.” And he’s added this one: “Adopt increased recordation fees with revenues to the County to fund public works operations.”
What public works operations are so expensive we need new taxes and fees, you ask?
We’re going out on a limb and thinking it has something to do with this recommendation: “Implement the Public Works Facility to centralize and consolidate the Public Works operations.”
Ah! The Greg Lewis Memorial Public Works Facility and Taj Mahal. We seem to remember having written about that in the past. Apparently the Lewis strategy is keep throwing around your massive weight, and eventually you get your way, and the taxpayers in “places like this that are penny-ante pound foolish” pay for it.
We’re sure that plenty of other folks will get a kick out of Lewis’ recommendations that his office “absorb” their positions, like an amoeba feeding. But we’re dying to know how his plans for NCCC, Lockport, and the Sheriff’s Office turn out.