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County Executive's request to NFL highlights need for transparency during stadium discussions


In the wake of ongoing traffic and pedestrian safety issues, Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) recently wrote Governor Cuomo and state officials asking for the widening of NYS Route 78 (Transit Road).

As we have just celebrated Labor Day and all our students are now back to school, I wanted to discuss a recent legislative issue that you may have read about in the newspaper.

Legislator Ted Morton recently visited Como Lake Park to observe the rapid deterioration of the lake.

Erie County Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) began his yearly summer listening tour this week that will have him visiting with residents in Lancaster, Cheektowaga, Depew and Alden.

A few weeks ago, the Legislature approved changes to the Erie County Charter that were recommended by an all-volunteer citizens committee. With County Executive approval, the measure would have gone to the ballot for the public to have their say and vote on in November. Unfortunately the County Executive chose to veto the recommended changes. As a result, the Legislature anticipates voting on an amended version later this month, including some changes suggested by the County Executive. While I’m disappointed that the original package was vetoed, I’m optimistic that a revised version will be passed and that the public will have the opportunity to vote on it this November.

Legislator Ted Morton is pleased that the County Executive has taken steps to gather appropriate information from the National Football League to determine if a new stadium is necessary to make the Buffalo Bills viable, however, the request to obtain access to the team's financial books, reiterates Legislator Morton's position that transparency is critical to the process. A position that the County Executive hasn't supported himself. 

Legislator Morton has been critical of the County Executive for not requiring that the New Stadium Working Group and the Erie County Stadium Corp. operate publically and for failing to post important information, including meeting dates to allow residents to attend.

May 19, 2014: Legislator Morton calls on Poloncarz to abide by open meetings law regarding stadium working group

"Considering the comments made over past few days from the County Executive regarding funding for a possible new Bills stadium, I continue to hope that the New Stadium Working Group that he and members of his administration serve on will do everything they can to keep the public involved and actively seek their participation. I sent him a letter in May asking for transparency from him and the new stadium working group. I hope all relevant portions of the discussions are open to the public, especially if taxpayer investment is possible in the future. The County has already agreed to invest $41 million in stadium renovations as part of the recently signed Bills lease, this is a substantial investment for Erie County residents, and any further decisions deserve extensive public input," Legislator Morton stated.

The Erie County Executive's response to Legislator Morton's request for increased transparency: Click here to read copy of the response