County Executive vetoes appointments for Rail Futures Commission

Western PA News

On Nov. 30, the Erie County Council passed Ordinance No. 115, 2021, which would allow the Council to appoint members to the Rail Futures Commission.

On Friday, Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said in a statement she was surprised the ordinance went through so soon, so she decided to veto it.

“I have made clear to Chairman Anderson and other council members that I would not be appointing members to this Commission or any board or commission with only days left in my administration and some council members’ terms,” Dahlkemper said. “These appointments should await the new County Executive and new Council, as Mr. Anderson suggested recently when addressing appointments generally.”

Dahlkemper added in her statement the County Executive should have the authority to appoint and remove members of the Commission, so the ordinance should wait until County Executive-elect Brenton Davis takes office on Jan. 3, 2022.

Erie County Council responded in a statement, saying, “The County Executive’s decision to stall the formation of the Erie Rails Future Commission is a real shame. Council’s unanimous approval of appointments to the Commission were intended to keep a project moving that will lead to hundreds of new jobs, millions in federal funds and considerable new development in a County that desperately needs such an infusion. Ordinance 115, 2021 went through readings at two separate meetings and passed unanimously on Nov. 30. Still Mrs. Dahlkemper expressed no objection at any time before today.”

Council Chair Carl Anderson III added there is no good reason for the veto.

“Thankfully, the new County Council Members and the County Executive-Elect understand the value of economic development, and the terrific need for our economy to move forward,” said Anderson in a statement. “I really do not understand why Mrs. Dahlkemper waiting until the 11th hour to drop this announcement and potentially put funding and progress in this matter at risk. This seems rather vindictive and self-serving. Why would she want to leave that as her legacy as County Executive?”

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