Every Sunday, we'll publish a quick Q&A with someone from the local political world. Instead of touching on the latest in policy issues and proposed legislation, the intent is to catch a glimpse of the person behind the title. The interviews are done via email.
Job Title: Erie County clerk
Town: City of Buffalo
Education: Canisius High School; law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo; MBA from American University, Washington, D.C.; and a bachelor of arts degree from Boston College
What's one thing people don't know about you?
While I was in college, I joined the Boston College ultimate frisbee (a.k.a. frisbee football) team and fell in love with the sport. Our team traveled all over New England playing tournaments. I played on teams after college while living down in Washington, D.C. The sport has a lot of elements of basketball and soccer. I’m happy to see many of our high schools are now forming clubs. Recently a professional league started up, and Buffalo has a team. I may make a comeback!
Second, I’m the product of 16 years of Catholic Education. Eight years with the Sisters of St. Joseph and eight years with the Jesuits. Outside of my parents, they had probably the biggest influence on my life path.
What music have you been listening to lately?
I love all kinds of music as long it’s live and in a small venue, like the Sportsmen’s Tavern or Nietzsche’s.
What's your favorite restaurant?
Papa Jakes. Great food, great fish frys during Lent. Plus, my nickname growing up was “Jake.”
Who is your political hero?
My heroes are not necessarily politicians. I admire people who have a dream and pursue it, no matter what the impediment life throws at them. My late father is one of my heros for that reason. He believed he had discovered a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. He forged through for years while being dismissed by the medical community. Thirty years later, people all over the world are on the treatment he founded and living improved lives instead of being devastated by MS.
What's the worst part of your job?
Probably the paperwork, but really I am enjoying almost every aspect of the new job. I really think we are making progress to deliver a better product every day. Perhaps it’s a matter of perspective. Let’s keep in mind that before this position I served on the Buffalo School Board, where every little change seemed to meet a roadblock -- whether it be because of arcane work rules, conflicting state and federal bureaucracies or a prehistoric union leader.
taggedChris Jacobs | Erie County clerk | Five Questions