The Erie County Water Authority has a new executive director with the naming of Russell Stoll to the post, effective immediately.
Stoll, of Amherst, is a longtime engineer locally including working as the NFTA's director of engineering. He succeeds John Mye, who resigned in February after only three days on the job.
“We are very pleased to have Mr. Stoll as our new executive director,” said Chairman Jerome Schad, in a statement. “After an exhaustive process led by a professional executive search firm, the board of commissioners felt very strongly that he was the best person for the job. There were several highly qualified candidates, but Mr. Stoll’s knowledge of ECWA’s operations and vast experience overseeing our significant infrastructure investment program put him well atop the pool of potential candidates.”
Stoll says he has had an array of engineering management posts, including at the water authority. He has been with the ECWA since 2012 and has served as its executive engineer since 2016.
"As the executive engineer at the Erie County Water Authority I had probably 140 people working under me," Stoll told WBFO.
The authority has been going through turmoil in very recent years, partially triggered by an Albany report saying mismanagement is a problem and seeking removal of the entire board. That did not happen.
Stoll said he sees his post as managing the authority operations, saying it's not a political job in an agency known for its political intrigues. The University at Buffalo graduate praised the authority's workforce.
"We have some great people that work for us and some great professionals we've hired very recently," Stoll said.
The new boss says the authority will finish $41 million in infrastructure upgrades this year and will spend more than $200 million over the next five years. Stoll says that is to improve reliability across the entire system, which has had some expensive problems in recent years.