No one shows for public hearing on county agency shuffle

Jul 23, 2019

Erie County legislators are now free to vote on a plan to create a new Division of Consumer Protection, after no one showed up Monday evening for a public hearing on the proposal.

The plan was outlined by County Executive Mark Poloncarz in his "State of the County" speech and was originally criticized as political.

The major shift is moving the Division of Weights and Measures from Public Works to become a bureau in the Division of Consumer Protection. In turn, that division will be part of the newly named Department of Public Advocacy. That is the parent department for an array of small county agencies, like the Division of Equal Employment Opportunity and Division on the Status of Women.

If passed by the legislature, the local law would require another public hearing before the county executive can sign off on it. Then, there is required procedural work in Albany. It also would be locked into the county charter and would require a complicated plan to remove it.