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Legislators approve resolution requesting meeting with ECFSA Board to review $100 million borrowing plan


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

We’ve all read the stories in the paper of the countless individuals suffering from the ongoing opioid epidemic. There has been a lot of talk of families being ripped apart by this tragedy, too often we hear talk but see little action.

Legislator Ted Morton joined Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard, Holland Central School Superintendent Cathy Fabiatos and Alden School Superintendent Adam Stoltman to announce continued funding for school resource officers (SRO) in several local districts. The SRO program provides a uniformed officer in schools as a way to promote student safety, conflict resolution and anti-bullying initiatives.


At a Legislative session held on September 21, 2017, Legislator Ted Morton honored Lancaster resident, Dick Young as the September 2017 Citizen of the month.


Today, in response to the County Executive’s offer to work with Legislator Morton to develop a compromise Made in America Act, Legislator Ted Morton wrote to him to begin the process.


Legislator Ted Morton first introduced the Made in America Act in support of local manufacturers and local workers in Erie County. After passing the Legislature by a vote of 9-1, the County Executive vetoed the law after instructing the County Attorney to draft a legal opinion.


Members of the Erie County Legislature have requested that the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority (ECFSA) Board appear at the next Finance and Management Committee meeting to discuss the new plan that would allow the ECFSA to borrow on behalf of the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) new emergency room. To account for the borrowing the County Executive has submitted a Declaration of Need, which requires Legislative approval.

 

“The County Executive issued the Declaration of Need on Monday and the Legislature has not yet reviewed the proposal with the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority, despite several attempts to have them address the Legislature.  I believe it is important that the ECFSA Board of Directors present the plan and publically answer any questions the Legislature may have before hundreds of millions of dollars are borrowed and the county incurs new debt,” said Chairman John Mills.

 

“It is important that we hold a public discussion on this topic with members of the ECFSA Board of Directors, representatives from the budget office, ECMC and Comptroller’s Office in order to fully vet this new plan. Throughout this process, all sides have agreed that a transparent and thorough discussion of the proposal was critical. We need to continue that approach with this new plan that the ECFSA is said to have proposed.  The fact that they refused to discuss this $100 million dollar project publicly is troubling,” said Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo, Chairman of the Finance and Management Committee.

 

“The plan to borrow through the ECFSA will save millions of dollars and makes sound financial sense for Erie County. I look forward to a full discussion on the structure of the loan package next week in our Finance and Management Committee. The Legislature will need to vote on the Declaration of Need, submitted by the County Executive, but before we take that action, this item needs to be publically vetted,” said Legislator Edward Rath.

 

“This is more than $100 million borrowing plan we are talking about. It is also a great deal of new debt that Erie County taxpayers are on the hook for. The ECFSA, administration, ECMC and Legislature owe it to the taxpayers to vet this issue in public, transparent meetings. For eight months many discussions were held when the County Executive wanted the county to do the borrowing, that plan was rejected by the Legislature, and now that we have a new proposal, we need to take the time to discuss and insure the is in the best interest of everyone involved,” said Legislator Ted Morton.

 

The resolution was approved (11-0) at Thursday’s session.