Republican Monroe County legislators propose bill that limits the authority of the county executive

Nov 13, 2019

A week after Monroe County voters elected their first Democratic county executive in three decades, the Republican-controlled County Legislature introduced a bill that would severely curtail the authority of the county executive.

Specifically, the bill would give the legislature the power to approve the heads of every county department selected by the county executive.

The legislature already has the authority to approve some department heads, but the legislation would give it approval power over every department head, and expand the list of county executive appointees requiring legislative approval to deputy county executives, record management officers, and the county lawyer.

Democratic legislators called the bill "unprecedented" and "a desperate attempt to overturn the results of last week's election." 

In a Wednesday news conference, Bello accused the Republican lawmakers of  a "blatant, self-serving power grab."

A letter accompanying the legislation, signed by Republican county lawmakers, says that, "As the Legislative branch of County government, it is imperative that we identify additional opportunities to provide the checks and balances the taxpayers demand."

When asked if  County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo would respond, a statement was released by Monroe County spokesperson Jesse Sleezer on Wednesday which said that:

"The CABLE (Checks and Balances for Legislative Equality) Act of 2019 ensures a co-equal branch of government providing residents across Monroe County greater transparency and oversight on how their tax dollars are spent. The County Executive respects and supports this legislation."

David Andreatta is the Editor of City Newspaper. WXXI News also contributed to this story.