In a move that will save taxpayers nearly $5,000 per month, five Erie County Legislators will close their district offices and implement an outreach schedule that will take the legislators to their constituients.
Those who've given up their offices are Erie County Legislators Lynne Dixon (12th District), Dino Fudoli (5th District) and Raymond Walter (4th District) and Legislator Edward Rath (15th District).
According to the legislators, the savings will be the equivalent to the cost of three new playground sets in county parks or 100 new computers at county libraries every year. "This past year, many of us campaigned on bringing real reforms to the Erie County Legislature, and we are keeping our promise," said Legislator Rath.
Says newly elected Legislator Kevin Hardwick, "This is the right thing to do. In a year when we will be asking department heads to cut spending and make tough choices, we are leading by example." Hardwick has not occupied an office since his election this past November.
The district office closings come with the rollout of a constituent service outreach program that will bring legislators and their staff into libraries, senior centers, and town and village halls across the County.
The legislators believe they will be able to serve the public just as well, and Legislator Walter says, "In the age of instant access to information, we have experienced a decline in the popularity and necessity of district offices. Certainly, being accessible in the neighborhood is important, but that doesn't mean I need a brick and mortar operation there."
The outreach schedules (below) provide the details a program that extends into nearly every municipality in Erie County, saving some a 30 minute ride.
"This is a program that respects the taxpayers' dollars and brings constituent services directly to them, at no additional cost. This is a win-win," says Legislator Dixon. "In a district as large as mine, it's impossible to have a district office that is convenient for everyone I represent."
Legislator Dino Fudoli agrees, saying, "District office closures bring the services you pay for closer and more convenient to you, and it also opens up prime real estate in our towns and villages for new business growth and development."
DISTRICT OUTREACH SCHEDULE
Hon. Raymond W. Walter: District 4, serving Amherst, Cheektowaga, Clarence, Akron, & Newstead
March 24 1-4pm Newstead Library
March 25 9-4pm Newstead Town Hall, 5 Clarence Center Rd., Akron (HEAP)
March 30 9-4pm Clarence Town Hall, 1 Town Place, Clarence, NY 14031 (HEAP)
Hon. Dino J. Fudoli: District 5, serving Alden, Lancaster, Marilla, Elma, Holland, Wales & Sardinia
March 3 10-12pm Lancaster Library, 5466 Broadway, Lancaster
March 10 9-12pm Elma Town Hall, 1600 Bowen Road, Elma
March 17 10-12pm Lancaster Library, 5466 Broadway, Lancaster
March 24 4-6pm Holland Town Hall, 47 Pearl Street, Holland
Hon. Kevin R. Hardwick: District 10, City of Tonawanda, Kenmore, Tonawanda & Grand Island
March 2 12-5pm City of Tonawanda Library, 333 Main Street, Tonawanda
March 9 9-12pm Kenmore Municipal Building, 2219 Delaware Ave, Kenmore
March 16 TBD Kenmore Municipal Building, 2219 Delaware Ave, Kenmore
March 23 TBD Grand Island, TBD
March 29 6pm Tonawanda Senior Center, 33 Main Street, Tonawanda
Hon. Lynne Dixon: District 12, Hamburg, Eden, Evans, Angola, Brant, Farnham, Boston & N.Collins
February 24 9:30-12:30 Boston Town Hall, 8500 Boston State Road, Boston
February 24 2-5pm Eden Library, 2901 East Church Street, Eden
March 3 10-1pm Hamburg Library, 102 Buffalo Street, Hamburg
March 3 2:30-5:30pm N. Collins Library, 2095 School Street, N. Collins
March 9 9:30-11:30am Brant Town Hall, 1294 Brant-North Collins Rd
March 10 1-4pm Evans Town Hall, 8787 Erie Road, Angola
Hon. Edward A. Rath, III District 15 Serving Amherst & Williamsville
March 2 8-12pm Village Hall Community Room, 5565 Main St, Williamsville
March 2 1-5pm Audubon Library, 350 John James Audubon Pkwy
March 9 8-12pm Amherst Town Hall, 5583 Main Street, Williamsville
March 9 1-5pm Clearfield Library, 770 Hopkins Road, Williamsville
March 16 8-12pm Village Hall Community Room, 5565 Main St., Williamsville
March 16 1-5pm Audubon Library, 350 John James Audubon Pkwy, Amherst
March 23 8-12pm Village Hall Community Room, 5565 Main St., Williamsville
March 23 1-5pm Clearfield Library, 770 Hopkins Road, Williamsville
March 30 8-12pm Amherst Town Hall, 5583 Main Street, Williamsville
March 30 1-5pm Audubon Library, 350 John James Audubon Pkwy, Amherst