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Slominski laments failures of legislature and county executive

February 24, 2005

Saying she would "do better as a consultant," former Erie County Comptroller Alfreda Slominski announced Tuesday on WBEN-AM that she will not run for public office.
Slominski hadn't been following local politics, until she sat watching her television set last December and caught the spectacle of county legislators voting on a budget they hadn't even read or seen.
"I would never do anything like that, ever," she declared. "I always made a point of being prepared, of reading everything I could so that I knew exactly what I was voting on. I would never vote on anything I wasn't thoroughly familiar with. I would have been embarrassed to do anything like that."
While she has declared on local talk radio that there is much more to cut in the county budget, she said she did not have specific cuts in mind.
"I have been out of office for over 12 years. I can't talk about every single detail of the budget," she said. "I don't know exactly where the budget can be cut. How many people are there working for county government? That has to be looked into. I can't believe that there aren't cuts that can be made in personnel."
Still, Slominski kept returning to what she feels is the incompetence of the current legislature and county executive.
"How many of them really understand the budget," she asks. "How many of them did a thorough study of the 2005 budget last November when they had plenty of time? Very few if any, I'd say. Look at Mike Ranzenhofer, the minority leader of the legislature. I have hardly heard him say a word. That is very unfortunate. When there were 14 Democrats in the legislature and I was a minority of one, I always took a prominent role in debates and I was always very well informed about what was going on."
As for County Executive Joel Giambra, she is even less positive.
"I knew Joel back at City Hall and I wasn't very impressed," she said. "I thought he was arrogant and I still think he is arrogant. He only got rid of that driver of his recently even though he should know by now that the public is outraged by that whole thing.
"He spent all the reserves. He's spent the tobacco money. I understand that we have a Medicaid problem and I don't think that case has been made the way it should be made in Albany. But, that's something he knew about in advance. He should have been planning ahead to deal with it."
Slominski contends that Giambra doesn't hold a candle to his predecessor, former County Executive Dennis Gorski.
"I endorsed Dennis Gorski for reelection and I was proud to do so because he was a conservative fiscal manager," she recalls. "It was a pleasure to work with Dennis Gorski because he took responsibility for things and got things done. With Giambra, it's always the legislature's fault or the state's fault or the union's fault. Nothing is ever his fault."
As for the question of whether she would run for the legislature herself this year, the 76-year-old Slominski admits that she hadn't known whose county legislative district she lived in until recently.
Prior to Tuesday's announcement, she said "Frankly I was surprised that I now live in Ranzenhofer's district since I moved after my husband died. I live in Depew in Cheektowaga, which I thought was Dusza country. I won't run against Ranzenhofer. If I really wanted to run I would consider getting an apartment in the other district so I could run against Dusza but I really don't know if I'll do it."
by Glenn Gramigna

Posted by Am-Pol Eagle at February 24, 2005 11:29 AM
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