Finally, there's one county legislator out there who gets it. Majority Leader Rick Updegrove has put in a resolution for tonight's Legislature meeting that freezes any hiring of department heads under lame duck County Manager Greg Lewis. Thank you Rick.
Setting aside that Lewis has been mostly ineffective in his time here, passing the really tough decisions onto the Legislature and taking credit for low tax increases when he actually proposed big ones, the fact is the next County Manager should have some input in choosing his or her team. Philosophies, structure, processes, areas of focus can all change when the next manager is hired. That is why that person should have input in forming the team as positions open.
Lewis almost seems to be thumbing his nose at the Legislature as he moves forward, taking care of his people and ignoring the Legislature. Of course, Bill Ross is letting him get away with it. It's time Ross steps up to the plate and tells Lewis that while he can keep the trains running on time here in Niagara County until he's gone, he won't be part of any more long-term decisions.
Quite frankly, we're aghast that Ross has not started discussions to buy out Lewis' contract. What is the valid reason for keeping a lame duck at the helm....a duck who is spending his time and our tax dollars looking for another gig? Let Lewis hunt for a job on his own nickel. Sources have told us that the Majority Conference is getting impatient with Ross on this and could force his hand to make a move on Lewis in the coming weeks.
Of course, all of this would be helped if Jerry Farnham, head of the search committee, would actually schedule a friggin meeting to get the process started. Jerry, what the hell are you waiting for? Here's what you do....you call the members of the search committee and tell them there will be a meeting next week at such and such time at such and such place. Then, when that day and time roll around, everyone shows up to that meeting and the process has begun. See, it's really not that hard, so get off your ass and get moving.
So, while Ross and Farnham continue to fiddle, we can take some solace in the fact that at least Rick Updegrove will prevent Greg Lewis from screwing things up on his way out the door.