Legislators to revisit proposed charter changes

Aug 5, 2016

Some Legislators are planning to take another shot at revising Erie County's Charter following the county executive's veto of a local law that contained 53 changes.

Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo would like to revisit some of the proposed changes to the Erie County Charter.
Credit WBFO News File Photo


One of the proposed changes called for extending legislators' terms to four years, a position that proved to be politically untenable.

"When I take a step back and think about what my constituents want, they want better representation in government," said Joseph Lorigo, the Legislature's Majority Leader.

"They don't care if our terms are two years or four years."  

While the issue of term lengths is dead, some legislators believe other changes are possible. Buffalo Democrat Patrick Burke suggests that supporters could "cherry pick" from the list of recommended changes.

"We could just go one-by-one and put in ten laws," Burke hypothesized.

"Put in as many revisions as we see as appropriate to change our charter."

Lorigo agrees, saying that as many as 95 percent of the proposed revisions could become law. He's willing to work with both parties to reach an agreement.

In hindsight, most understand the public backlash against the extension of legislative terms.

"I don't want the public out there thinking that we are only in this body to serve ourselves," Lorigo said. "We're here to serve the residents and our constituents."