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Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority Is Now A Hard Control Board

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – The Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority voted unanimously Friday afternoon to become a "hard" control board.

The members took the action after expressing concerns about some of the projections in County Executive Joel Giambra's four-year fiscal recovery plan.

In moving from its former advisory role, Chairman Anthony Baynes says the board will have enhanced powers. It approved an immediate hiring freeze. The board also has authority over county contracts of $50,000 or more.

"Given Erie County's fiscal reality, we had no choice," Baynes said.

The hard control period will last at least for one year.

Giambra did not comment on the board's actions. But County Attorney Laurence Rubin did question its legality.

"It is my opinion that the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority has violated the very law that created it," Rubin said in a written statement. "New York state law does not allow a control period to be declared before the end of the county's budget process."