November 27, 2012 - 3:19 PM
By Denise Jewell Gee
Democrats in the Erie County Legislature plan to recommend a surgeon and professor to serve as a Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority commissioner.
Legislature Chairwoman Betty Jean Grant, a Buffalo Democrat, will seek a vote to recommend Dr. Wesley L. Hicks Jr., a head and neck surgeon, to fill a vacancy on the NFTA’s Board of Commissioners. If approved by the full Legislature on Thursday, the recommendation would go to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for an appointment.
Hicks is chairman of the Department of Head & Neck Surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and is a professor at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Services.
The Democrats, in a resolution submitted to the County Legislature, cited Hicks’ “solid credentials and a deep commitment to our region,” as well as his “energy and enthusiasm for the appointment.”
If his nomination is approved by Cuomo, Hicks would fill a commissioner’s seat left open after James J. Eagan resigned to become secretary of the Democratic State Committee. The remaining term would expire in June 2016.
Hicks was one of three people interviewed last week by a Legislature committee for the position. Former Council member Jeffrey Conrad, director of Erie County Center for Employment Opportunity, and Margaret A. Murphy, an attorney and former city court judge, also interviewed for the post.
October 11, 2012 - 4:42 PM
Betty Jean Grant with her supporters outside her campaign headquarters on Jefferson Street on primary night. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)
By Denise Jewell Gee
Erie County Legislature Chairwoman Betty Jean Grant lost her bid for a
State Senate seat, but she's won over her colleagues in county government.
Grant, a Buffalo Democrat, got a bipartisan standing ovation in the
Legislature on Thursday after Legislator Kevin Hardwick, a Republican from
the City of Tonawanda, praised her leadership.
"As someone who has lost a couple close elections myself, I wanted to tell
you how impressed I was with the campaign that you ran recently for State
Senate," Hardwick said. "I know that came up short, but I also am not that
sad. Surely, not as sad as you, because under your leadership here this
past year, things have been going rather well."
Several legislators have noted this year that the atmosphere in the
Legislative chambers has been less acrimonious under Grant's leadership
than it has been in recent years.
Grant replaced former Chairwoman Barbara Miller-Williams, a Buffalo
Democrat who had gained the Legislature leadership post after forming a coalition with Legislature Republicans.
"I just wanted to let you know that this Republican is proud to point to
you as our chair," Hardwick told Grant.
Erie County legislators are poised to reappoint Francis G. Warthling to a third term on the Erie Water Authority's Board of Commissioners.
Warthling, who serves as chairman of the Water Authority, appeared before the Legislature's Energy and Environment Committee last week. His reappointment to a three-year term is expected to be approved by the full Legislature on Thursday after Chairwoman Betty Jean Grant submitted his name for the position.
Warthling, 45, is chairman of the Lackawanna Democratic Committee. He is owner of Warthling Properties and is vice president of Diamond Cutters of Western New York. His family owns Curly's Grill & Banquet Center in Lackawanna.
Each commissioner on the three-member Water Aurthority board earns $22,500 a year.
-- Denise Jewell Gee
February 5, 2012 - 9:00 AM
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.
Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant dances as results trickle in on election night in November. (Derek Gee/ Buffalo News)
Betty Jean Grant
Party: Democratic Party
Job Title: 2nd District Legislator and Chairwoman, Erie County Legislature
Family: Married to George E. Grant since 1970. Three daughters and four grandchildren.
Education: Bachelor of Science in elementary education; Master's degree in special education
Continue reading "Five Questions with Betty Jean Grant" »