Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dems question makeup of Water Authority board

Posted By on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 9:27 AM

The Monroe County Water Authority Board has two new members. The County Legislature approved their appointments during a meeting last night. 

But only Lej Republicans and Democratic Legislator John Lightfoot supported the appointment of Monroe County Sheriff's Office Investigator Allen Bernstein and Scott Nasca, who is president of a local investment firm. Democrats didn't voice any objection to the candidates, but were instead critical of the authority board's makeup.

Democratic Minority Leader Carrie Andrews said her caucus has been concerned about the lack of true bipartisan representation on the Water Authority board. By law, the board has to have members from at least two political parties. The Republican-led Legislature has skirted the law's presumed intent by consistently appointing only Republican and Conservative Party members to the board.

During last night's meeting, Legislature President Jeff Adair said that Bernstein is a registered Republican and that Nasca is a registered Conservative. Deputy County Executive Dan DeLaus said the appointments will give the board four Republican members and three Conservative members.

Andrews said she would prefer to see a Democrat appointed to the board, and asked Adair to consider doing so in the future. She pointed out that a 2008 grand jury report said there should be a Democrat on the board. 

Adair said he would consider Andrews' request. He interviewed a Democrat this time around, he said, but thought Bernstein and Nasca had unique qualifications that would serve the board well.

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