Ed Rath was born and raised in Amherst and attended Williamsville public schools through 8th grade. He graduated from Nichols School of Buffalo and subsequently received his degree from Syracuse University, with a major Political Science and a minor in History. In 2005, Ed completed the Executive MBA program at Canisius College - Magna Cum Laude
Legislator Rath moved back to Western New York in June 2003 and has volunteered for numerous philanthropic organizations.
- Past president of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, and actively involved in the finance and property committees
- Past member of the Advisory Council of the Buffalo/Niagara Sports Commission
- Member of the Williamsville Rotary Club, and helps with the Children's Literacy program
- Parishioner and volunteer at St. Gregory the Great in Williamsville
- Member of the Williamsville Business Association
- Named the WNY Alzheimer Association “Person of the Year” in 2013
- Received the “Living Legacy” Award from the Buffalo Salvation Army in 2011
- Received the “Lincoln Leadership” Award from the Newstead Republican Committee in 2012
- Past member of the Visit Buffalo Niagara Advisory Board; member of the Erie County Fire Advisory Board; and a member of the Central Police Services Advisory Board
Ed is Vice President at VARO Technologies and has worked in the energy industry for the past 27 years. Over that period of time, he has worked for a vast array of businesses from small family-owned businesses to a Fortune 100 company.
As the Legislator that represents a portion of Amherst, all of Clarence, Akron and Newstead, Ed has accomplished a lot:
- Co-sponsored important reforms: Reduced the size of the Legislature from 15 to 11 members; eliminated unnecessary district offices (Erie County is the only County Legislature in NYS with these offices); and voted against salary increases for the county’s elected officials.
- Fully funded the County’s pension obligations, fighting against a recommendation to borrow the funds and incur unnecessary long-term costs.
- Co-authored the County’s Cyber-bullying Local Law to deter youths from attacking each other online, and holding those accountable who engage in online harassment.
- Lead sponsor of the Property Tax Stabilization Fund to serve as a dedicated rainy day fund to hold the line on property tax increases.
- Lead sponsor of the County’s Silver Alert Local Law, which is similar to the Amber Alert and is a public notification system that broadcasts information about missing persons - especially vulnerable seniors with Alzheimer's disease, dementia or other mental disabilities - in order to aid in their return. This important local law was adopted in the spring of 2011 and it allows first responders, the public and media outlets to work together to find missing residents.
- For the past three years crafted responsible budget amendments that called for meaningful reform of Erie County government and the reduction of our incredible tax burden.
- Helped to successfully transfer $5 million in surplus to fix infrastructure issues throughout Erie County in 2014.
- Voted to lower Erie County property taxes for the first time in over a decade in 2014, and delivered tax rate decreases in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
- Authored a local law in early 2015 to dedicate revenues from the Erie County Clerk’s Auto Bureau to the Erie County Road Repair Reserve Fund.
- Sponsored the Theft of Valor Law that makes it a crime to impersonate a veteran or member of the military for financial gain.
Ed is a past Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, in addition to serving as Vice Chair of the Community Enrichment Committee, Health and Human Services Committee and Minority & Women Business Enterprise Committee.
In November 2007, Ed won his first election and was installed in January 2008. He successfully ran for re-election in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.
His legislative agenda items include:
- Increased collaboration and dialog between all economic development agencies and the business community.
- Continued reduction and reform of county government to lower the property tax burden.
- More effectively use funds from bed tax to promote tourism and cultural assets.
- Re-adoption and reform of the Empire Zone and Power for Jobs programs.
- Continued investment in road and bridge improvement projects.
- Prioritization and adequate funding of Erie Community College in order to increase enrollment.
- Examine mergers, consolidations, shared services and inter-municipal agreements which would benefit the taxpayers of Erie County.
Ed and his wife Amy have three daughters and make their home in Williamsville.