Mark C. Poloncarz is Erie County’s eighth County Executive. Now in his third term as County Executive, Mark works every day to ensure Erie County government is focused on its core mission: protecting public health and safety while providing the programs and services that residents and taxpayers demand in an efficient and effective way.
Under his guidance Erie County has enjoyed balanced budgets along with lower tax rates and increased investments in county roads, parks, libraries, and cultural organizations every year since he took office. Mark’s prudent fiscal leadership has resulted in a significantly improved county credit rating along with a greatly reduced debt load.
Mark steered Erie County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic across multiple county departments and in coordination with numerous partners, organizations and agencies of all sizes. His leadership was essential to the deployment of county resources such as testing and vaccination clinics, PPE distribution, and more. As Erie County recovers from the pandemic, Mark’s RENEW Plan is guiding re-invigorating investments in infrastructure, sewers, parks and more that have all been made possible with funding from the American Rescue Plan.
County Executive Poloncarz’ focus on the protection and promotion of the health and wellbeing of county residents extends even further. In 2022 he created the Office of Health Equity to help ensure that all underserved residents, marginalized communities, and communities of color have equal access to preventative health care. Mark also created the Erie County Opioid Epidemic Task Force in 2016 to combat the opioid crisis sweeping the county, and later that year he served on the National Opioid Crisis Task Force alongside national peers developing community responses to the opioid epidemic. Since Mark created the Erie County Task Force programs developed in Erie County are being copied across the nation.
The County Executive has also made economic development a major priority of his administration. Continuing redevelopment at the former Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna has transformed that parcel into a modern business park, now re-named Renaissance Commerce Park. This thriving site is now attracting new investment and will continue to bring new economic activity and investment as growth continues.
In Mark’s first term he negotiated a new lease with the Buffalo Bills that kept the team here, as the only NFL team that plays its home games in NYS. Mark again led the Erie County negotiating team in 2022, working to secure a strong, responsible lease with the Bills that will keep them playing here, in a new stadium, for the next thirty years.
Mark’s leadership has been critical to passing new local laws covering public health, governmental ethics, and fair housing. In addition, in 2018 Mr. Poloncarz re-affirmed Erie County’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, with Erie County government already reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 28%. He also continues to be a staunch advocate for women, seniors, veterans, and the disabled.
He is a graduate of Lackawanna Senior High School, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and the University of Toledo’s College of Law. Before being elected as County Executive, Mark served as Erie County Comptroller for six years.
When time allows, Mark’s recreational pursuits include golf, hockey, cross-country skiing, astronomy, and reading. A former youth hockey coach, he is an avid history buff and student of politics as well.
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