A younger brother of Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, who was let go from the Erie County Water Authority, has landed a new job at the county Board of Elections.
Robb M. Poloncarz, a former chef, was hired in late August 2012 by the Water Authority to fill a vacant position of contract monitor at a starting salary of $55,132. According to authority officials, he was hired on a provisional basis, contingent upon finishing in the top three of those who took a civil service exam in hopes of being hired permanently in the position – something he failed to do.
Poloncarz was relieved of his job at the Water Authority the day after Thanksgiving.
“He has been out of the authority now since the end of November,” Brian Gould of e3communications, a spokesman for the Water Authority, said Thursday.
Gould said the exam was administered through the Erie County Department of Personnel.
Meanwhile, Dennis Ward, Democratic commissioner of the Board of Elections, confirmed Thursday that Robb Poloncarz started his new job Monday. Ward did not specify any title that he holds but said he has been undergoing initial training for a reorganization of the department that will go into effect next month.
Robb Poloncarz’s previous job of contract monitor at the Water Authority had long been vacant before he was hired to fill it. The position had a range of responsibilities, including monitoring contracts, analyzing current market conditions and changing regulatory processes affecting the industry, monitoring the progress of projects to ensure compliance with regulations and contract provisions, and consulting with department heads on acquisition of property and the letting of contracts, among other duties.
At the time Robb Poloncarz was hired, the authority was criticized for not having advertised the job opening, though a spokesman for the county executive said he had no role in who was selected for the job.
The Water Authority, an independent agency whose commissioners are appointed by the County Legislature, is widely viewed as a haven for patronage by both major parties.
Meanwhile, back in late November, the former Democratic majority in the County Legislature approved an amendment to the county executive’s 2014 spending plan that allowed for a $338,000 increase in salary and fringe benefits at the Board of Elections, among other adjustments and additions to the budget.