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


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) was recently invited to speak at the annual Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast, held Feb. 10, where he provided an update on a wide range of issues, including the county’s budget, the county’s relationship with the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), the opioid epidemic and education.


Seven counties that help make up Western New York came together to send a letter and very clear message to Gov. Andrew Cuomo: we need unfunded mandate reform. A total of 90 legislators from Erie, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Orleans and Niagara counties signed on to ask the Governor to work to provide relief for counties through meaningful reform. 


As we start 2017 I wanted to talk about some of my priorities and the challenges we will face in Erie County.

Just last week the Legislature approved the 2017 Erie County budget and I’m pleased to report that we were able to fund our key initiatives residents expect and deserve while delivering a small tax rate cut. Since taking office I’ve pledged to fight for a tax cut every year that I’m in office and I’m proud to report that this will be the third year in a row that we’ve been successful in that effort.


Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) announces that the Erie County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department will hold two focus group sessions to gather public opinion on Como Lake Park as the department works to update the Parks Master Plan.

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