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'Why people do not like you'

June 16, 2010 - John D'Agostino

Erie County Executive Chris Collins is apparently not making many friends these days when it comes to the county work force.

During a recent interview on WBEN-AM, the county executive was asked by a caller named "Jean" — who was likely an Erie County employee — about the possibility of an early retirement incentive for county workers.

Collins said no, that would not be happening, noting that once the incentive is offered, employees will quit, take the early retirement package — which costs taxpayers money — and then Erie County would have to rehire and train for the position.

The caller replied that other entities, such as schools, the state and some municipalities are offering the incentive.

Collins replied that he thought those incentives were bad deals for the taxpayer, which led to the caller stating: "That is why people do not like you."

But maybe "Jean" that is why Mr. Collins got elected as executive. Unlike our county legislators and executive, who in December 2008 gave county workers a 12 percent pay increase, Collins won’t sign off on a new deal unless there are major concessions.

That's smart planning — and not just passing the buck on to the taxpayer as so often happens in our county.


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