GUEST COLUMN: Mid-Year Review Reveals Busy 2018

Modified: June 11, 2018 3:42pm

Latest News

  • New pilot program will be first of its kind in NYS outside New York City


    Area restaurants will be added to senior dining program; allows participating seniors to choose a venue and meal each day

    October 17, 2018 1:51pm
  • Dual Port station at Chestnut Ridge will provide free electric car charging

    October 16, 2018 3:10pm
  • Plan is intended to establish a framework for preservation, enhancement of existing system


    Public comment period follows stakeholder meetings at county parks, Parks User Survey  

    October 16, 2018 9:32am
  • Balanced 2019 proposal includes property tax rate cut of 2%, largest decrease in over a decade


    Enhances public health, senior protections; preserves and strengthens the People’s Mandates  


    Funding for SUNY Erie, libraries, arts & cultural groups, public art would increase; proposal also includes $32 million for road & bridge investments, $3.2 million for capital improvements in Parks

    October 12, 2018 12:45pm
  • Poloncarz, Higgins announce grants from U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


    Funding to be used to support existing Erie County Opioid Epidemic Task Force projects,

     implement Probation Opioid Response Initiative, Opioid Overdose Review Board


    October 9, 2018 3:42pm

For press releases from other years, please click on one of the following links:


It is hard to believe that we are nearly halfway through 2018 and headed into the busy summer season. While the upcoming months promise good times spent with family and friends, the months already behind us this year have been filled with activity in county government. New laws, new resident protections, and new investments in our infrastructure are the focus of my column this month.

In March I was pleased to sign a new Erie County Code of Ethics for elected officials, officers, and employees of the county. The new law, which I had called for more than two years ago, was approved unanimously by the Erie County Legislature and increases transparency through consistent language to clearly define conflicts of interest, improper acts, and other violations of public employment. It’s a strong step that brings Erie County into the modern era.

March also saw the signing of a new local law banning conversion therapy in Erie County. Sponsored by Legislator Burke, the law is meant to ensure the physical and psychological well-being of minors by prohibiting the practice of conversion therapy, which is any formal treatment that aims to change the sexual orientation and gender identity of a minor. Our law provides needed protections for our youth when they are at their most vulnerable.

In May, I was were joined by members of the labor community and Legislators Savage, Burke, Baskin and Bruso to sign an amendment to our local apprenticeship law that eliminates a loophole some contractors had used to avoid having a NYS Certified Worker Training Program in place. These programs provide valuable education and career training in skilled jobs to our local workforce and also reduce reliance on out-of-area labor for construction projects. I thank the legislature for working with my administration to eliminate the loophole, thereby protecting local workers in the process.

May also included the signing of a new county Fair Housing Law, extending anti-discriminatory protections for individuals seeking housing to include protections against discrimination based on gender identity, citizenship or source of income. Building an inclusive county requires fairness, diversity, and equal opportunity for all, especially when residents are choosing a community to live in. The Fair Housing Law levels the playing field for everyone seeking housing.

County investments in infrastructure and youth programming are also on tap this year. Last month I proposed an additional $3 million in road funding, on top of the $28 million already committed for road work in 2018, to do even more following the lengthy winter we just endured. While uninformed critics demean the efforts of county crews to repair our roads and bridges, I understand the critical nature of the work they are doing and will always ensure the safety of our driving public through effective road repairs.

While we have accomplished a lot so far in 2018, there is much more on the way this year. In the next few columns I will detail those initiatives. Stay tuned!