County Executive Joel Giambra's recent appointment of Hormoz Mansouri to the
board of Erie County Community College Board of Trustees shows that Giambra
and his political allies are not about to go quietly into that good night.
may help Giambra finally attain his goal of consolidating all three ECC campuses,
thereby allowing the “liberation” of valuable suburban real estate. Oppressed
developers/political campaign contributors unite!
Giambra, an alumnus
of ECC, has an interesting history with the college. In his campaign against
Dennis Gorski, Giambra was able to make hay out of political appointments and
sweetheart deals at ECC. He accused Gorski of stifling dissent by “consolidating”
the student newspapers that had been sharply critical of ECC's politicized administration.
After winning election, Giambra proceeded to ignore the issue, prompting a successful
lawsuit by the New York Civil Liberties Union against the County.
In 2002, the Middle
States Commission on Accreditation criticized the college for continuing its'
tradition of being a political haven. After that report came out Giambra demonstrated
his disdain by forcing through the hiring of his sister-in-law Regina Lettieri.
If the appointment
of Mansouri is any indication, Joel's infamous friends and family plan may,
indeed, be alive and well. Mansouri, a prodigous campaign contributor who is
also involved in real estate development may help make Joel's dream of selling
off ECC's Amherst campus at fire sale prices a reality. It's important to note,
however, that others at ECC, notably the school's president, Bill Mariani, have
been critical of Giambra's consolidation plans in the past. Giambra may not
be running for a third term, but this latest appointment proves he's not ready
to go quietly.
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