GREECE, N.Y. -- The International Joint Commission consists of appointees from the United States and Canada tasked with regulating the shared bodies of water between the two countries. It's also the governing body responsible for the controversial Plan 2014, which sets the levels of Lake Ontario.
"To see those waves hitting the shore, going 30-40 feet in the air and the destructive force is something to really witness and live through and if you see that destruction, you'll be a little more sensitive to the lake levels," Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich (R) said.
Following a devastating summer on the lake's southern shore, elected leaders at the federal, state and local level have called for more representation on the IJC.
"It's important to me to have somebody that is in a lakeshore community, on the southern shore, and if it isn't somebody from Greece, at least somebody from the lakeshore community," Reilich said.
One of the three U.S. positions is currently vacant. Reilich is campaigning for Greece resident Dr. Dan Barletta, a dentist who also is the editor of a newspaper about the lake.
"He understands it beyond just the average person," Reilich said. "He has a great deal of knowledge, technical knowledge on the lake and the lake levels and he's monitored it for many years."
He said he's personally written a letter to President Donald Trump and has asked other individuals with a direct line to Trump to lobby for Barletta as well.
"We're not working with other elected officials at this point," Reilich said. "We've gone directly to people that have personal relationships with the president and we're hoping that route will help."
Meanwhile, Congressman Chris Collins, a close Trump ally, is also paying attention to the appointments. The two other American commissioners have reportedly offered their resignations but plan to stay on until they're replaced.
"The Congressman is very confident we will have a member from Western New York," Collins spokesperson Sarah Minkel said in a statement.
Reilich acknowledged the administration has many other federal vacancies to fill but says the sooner there are new commissioners, the better for Lake Ontario homeowners.
Dr. Barletta did not immediately return a request for an interview.