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County Control Board Pays Hefty Fee to Financial Consultants

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – The new Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority hired a financial consulting company when it met August 1st. But now, some board are learning that the firm, Public Financial Management Group, will cost taxpayers $40,000 per week through the end of this year.

Board member Stanley Keysa tells the Buffalo News that he is surprised by the $860,000 fee for the rest of this year. He says the board did not know the amount at the meeting.

When board members met August 1st, they did question one of the company's financial managing directors, Scott Quayle. But he mostly was questioned about how PFM is already helping Erie County Executive Joel Giambra work on a four-year fiscal recovering plan.

"Work is already underway on identifying the fiscal gap, on identifying organizational restructuring opportunities, looking at savings and cost recovery," Quayle said. "We understand that members of the (business) community are also studying as well (to identify) where to adjust fees or make other changes."

PFM advises local governments on how to manage debt. Buffalo's control board pays $1.4 million dollars per year in consulting fees.