In a stunning deviation from previous statements, the Niagara County Legislature has added a last minute item to the agenda for next week's legislature meeting: a four-year contract extension for County Manager Greg Lewis. We're told that extension will include a hefty raise, bringing his salary to $155,000.
Previously Lewis had indicated his intention not to seek a contract extension, and the legislature seemed fine with moving on past the Lewis era. But sources have told us that Lewis has been lobbying Legislature Chairman Bill Ross for the extension, and Ross has convinced his colleagues in the Majority Caucus that Lewis is the right man for the job. We're also told that Lewis, while receiving a four-year extension, will likely only serve two years.
We've made our thoughts on Lewis abundantly clear over the years, and we are simply flabbergasted that the Legislature would extend the contract of Lewis. The man has been an unmitigated disaster since he came here in 2003 and has shown no signs of mending his ways.
He keeps a dictatorial thumb on his department heads, virtually forbidding them to interact with the legislators, the people elected by the people, without his approval. He has been the biggest enemy of the unions they've ever had, despite being hired by Dennis Virtuoso and the other Democrats when they held the majority in 2003. We won't even get into his appearance and the public relations nightmare that he's been - I mean, many county managers wear sneakers with their $80 suits.
Apparently our countdown clock is going to need a revision. The bright side is that we'll have plenty more to write about for the next couple years.
By the way, Happy April Fools Day.