Collins does good job of avoiding constituents

This February, United Auto Workers held their National Community Action Conference in Washington, D.C. I was proud to be part of the Western New York contingent attending the conference and lobbying elected representatives on behalf of our 6,500 UAW members living in the 27th District.

Per instructions from Congressman Chris Collins’ office, we contacted his staff last November to arrange our February meeting. In January a congressman’s representative called to change that appointment time and confirm meeting with the congressman.

On the appointed day, 10 constituents of NY 27th arrived 15 minutes early. Mr. Collins appeared a few moments later and announced that he was moving up the next appointment and would not meet with our delegation. Instead, we would meet with a “Legislative Correspondent.”

Since, the congressman and I previously worked together in county government, I walked into his office to re-introduce myself. I expressed my disappointment that he would not speak with our group after making an appointment months earlier and driving 500 miles. I also raised the importance of ongoing NAFTA negotiations that will impact the UAW/ Ford Buffalo Stamping plant workforce in his district.

Sadly, in the pattern of his tenure, Collins would not give our delegation even five minutes of consideration. Equally frustrating, the congressman’s staffer who met with us, could not confirm the congressman’s position on 95 percent of our inquiries.

No meeting. No public positions. No direct communication. An absolute embarrassment for a congressman who states, “We need to get the truth out!” The people of the 27th district deserve better.

Robert “Bob” Reynolds is a former Erie County legislator and Hamburg resident.