Modified: March 8, 2018 7:36pm
Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz delivered his 2018 State of the County address at the Buffalo Museum of Science before hundreds of community leaders. The address, the sixth State of the County Poloncarz has delivered, spotlighted administration successes and demonstrated numerous ways that Erie County government has led the way in protecting public health and the environment, maintaining and improving infrastructure, and in spurring economic development. Significant among recent successes, Poloncarz noted the passing of a new county ethics law as well as the signing of a local law banning the practice of conversion therapy in Erie County, along with the county’s spearheading of local relief efforts for Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, agreement with ECMC to build a new emergency department, among other accomplishments. The County Executive’s good news, however, was offset by his accompanying recognition of uncertainty in budgetary priorities at the federal and state level that could impact progress across numerous areas here in Erie County.
“Over the past six years we have shown that partnerships not only work to make our county better, but that they are necessary to our success. As a result, today we have a new ethics law, an agreement with ECMC to build a new state-of-the-art emergency department, and we’ve seen success in reducing the cost of government through shared services. Progress continues at the Bethlehem Steel site, at SUNY Erie, in protecting public health and in new protections for seniors and minors, but more needs to be done,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Difficult but necessary conversations are needed if we want to honestly reduce the tax burden that falls on all our residents. $1.8 billion in taxes was levied last year across Erie County, but the county, cities, towns and villages only made up 36% of that total, while schools and special districts, like fire and sewer, made up the remaining 64%. Additional significant savings for county residents can be identified if all taxing entities take part in shared services panel discussions, not just the municipalities who levy only 36% of total taxes in the county and have already completed two shared services efforts resulting in millions of dollars in savings. While we are working to lower taxes we are also working to save more lives from the scourge of opioids, to get more women and girls involved in civic engagement, to fight housing discrimination, and more. When we work together and for the good of all, great things are possible.”
The full text of the speech can be read here .
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