Erie, Pennsylvania

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Last reviewed: December 10, 2011

Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning Y
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Audits P
Contracts Y
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Lobbying N
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Public Records Y
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Local Taxes Y
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Transparency grading process
”’Erie”’ is a city in [Pennsylvania]. Erie is the state’s fourth largest city; the 2010 census reported the population at 102,000. Erie’s metropolitan area consists of approximately 280,000 residents and an urbanized population of 195,000. The city is the seat of Erie County.

Erie is known as the Flagship City because of the presence of Oliver Hazard Perry’s flagship, Niagara. The city is also known as the Gem City because of sparkling Lake Erie. Erie won the All-American City Award in 1972.[1]

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Pennsylvania city websites

The good

  • Council meetings and times are available online.[2]
  • City Council agendas and minutes are available, including archives through 2009.[3]
  • Elected officials information is published, including contact phone numbers, addresses and email addresses. Additionally, authority and department affiliations are listed.[4]
  • Administrative officials are published, including contact information.[5]
  • Audits and Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports are available, but only through 2009.[6]
  • Budget information is available, and is broken by personnel expenses, revenue and expenditures.[7]
  • Permits and licensing information is available and includes vendor applications.
  • Bids are published and searchable.[8]
  • Contracts and purchase receipts are available through purchasing department.[9]
  • Public records are complete, including fee information and online forms.[10]
  • The organization of the website is excellent and ease of access to information is exceptional.

The bad

  • No lobbying information
  • Only partial audit information.

Elected Officials: Council Members

Name Title Salary
Joseph Sinnott Mayor Unknown
Susan DiVecchio City Treasurer Unknown
Casimir Kwitowski City Controller Unknown
Jessica Horan-Kunco Council President $7,500 + benefits
Joseph Schember Councilmember 6,000 + benefits
Curtis Jones, Jr. Councilmember 6,000 + benefits
Patrick Cappabianca Councilmember 6,000 + benefits
Mark Aleksandrowicz Councilmember 6,000 + benefits
James Winarski Councilmember 6,000 + benefits
Joel Schwartz Councilmember 6,000 + benefits

Total personnel expenses in 2011= $181,933. Of this, FICA cost $3,328; Pensions cost $38,252; Health insurance cost $95,979 and workers compensation cost $$875. Salaries totaled $43,500 and benefits totaled $138,433.[11]

Administrative Officials

Name Title
Laura Shaaf Assistant to Mayor
Kim Green Director of Economic & Community Development
Connie Cook Manager of Human Resources
Steve Franklin Police Chief
Tony Pol Fire Chief
Berkheimer Income Tax Collector
Doug Mitchell Director Public Works
Paul Lichtenwalter Finance Director
Jim Klemm City Clerk


The total revenue for 2011 was $60,455,724, up from 2010 ($50,882,777).[12]


Erie received $20,176,959 in federal stimulus money through two contracts and twenty grants.[13]

Local taxes

In 2011, taxes generated a total of $40,065,582. Of this, income taxes from both residents and non-residents generated $6,375,000 and real estate taxes generated $30,615,582. The rest of the revenue came from realty transfers, local service taxes and an amusement tax.[14]

The tax rates for 2010 are published: the Earned Income Tax Withholding Rate (EIT) is 1.18% and the Local Service Tax (LST) is $52.00.[15]

City In the News

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority a $2 million grant to replace diesel with buses that run on compressed natural gas.[16]