The Erie County Legislature is presided over by a Chairman elected each year by a majority vote of the full Legislature. Eight votes constitute a majority. The members of each party in the Legislature designate one legislator of their party to serve as their leader. They are called the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader.
Every year, the Legislature also elects a Clerk. The Clerk of the Legislature appoints a staff of administrative assistants and secretarial assistants. The Clerk and his staff prepare agendas for meetings, prepare reports, send meeting notices, handle inquiries from the public and officials, and prepare the minutes of the Legislature which are its official proceedings.
To assist the Legislature in its work, each party selects a legislative assistant who collects, organizes, and analyzes data to aid the Legislators in their deliberations. A Majority Counsel is appointed to provide legal advice to majority party members. A Minority Counsel is also appointed to serve minority members.
For the purposes of facilitating the actions of the Legislature, the Chairman designates committees to study and report on specific subject areas. There are currently eight standing, permanent committees in the Erie County Legislature: Community Enrichment, Economic Development, Energy & Environment, Finance & Management, Government Affairs, Human Services, Public Safety, and Purchasing Ad Hoc.
Each committee is headed by a chairman and a Vice Chairman appointed by the Chairman of the Legislature. All standing committees have five members. Three(3) member are from the Majority and two (2) are from the Minority. Special committees may be comprised of citizens who are not legislators.
Committee meetings are held at the call of the Chairman. It is at committee meetings where citizens may have a direct input into County policy-making by presenting proposals or speaking on matters being considered by a committee. All committee meetings are open to the public.