Since taking office as Erie County's eighth Executive in January 2012, Mark C. Poloncarz has worked to change the culture of Erie County government and return it to its core mission: provide the programs and services that residents and taxpayers demand as effectively and efficiently as possible. And as such, he made it a priority to restore funding for what he calls the “People’s Mandates,” which include the rodent control program, parks improvements, road and bridge construction, libraries, summer youth programming and a renewed commitment to arts and cultural organizations. These programs were restored by Mark in a fiscally responsible manner without raising taxes. In 2014, as a result of Mark’s prudent budgeting and strong fiscal discipline, Fitch Ratings raised Erie County’s credit rating outlook from “stable” to “positive” and Standard & Poor’s upgraded the county’s credit rating three steps to “AA-.”
2014 has been a significant year of accomplishments for Mark, including working with the Legislature to pass a balanced budget with a small tax cut, opening the Erie County Health Mall, signing an executive order requiring that all contractors with Erie County comply with equal pay laws for women, restructuring the Department of Social Services while hiring more CPS caseworkers, and managing the emergency response to four major weather-related events: two blizzards, flooding in West Seneca and Winter Storm Knife.
Mark believes the key to his administration’s success is to create strong partnerships with other levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors, educational institutions and community groups. In his first year in office, Mark spearheaded the creation of one of New York State’s first Land Banks and the establishment of the Erie County Medicaid Anti-Fraud Unit, as well as leading the Erie County team in successfully negotiating a new 10-year lease with the Buffalo Bills. In his first term, Mark has also settled all contracts with collective bargaining units representing Erie County employees that were expired when he took office.
Before being elected as County Executive, Mark served as Erie County Comptroller for six years. During that time he worked to root out waste, fraud and abuse of the taxpayers’ dollars while creating a more efficient Comptroller’s Office and restoring fiscal stability to Erie County’s government. Additionally, Mark practiced corporate and finance law in Buffalo with the firms of Watson Bennett LLP and Kavinoky Cook LLP.