Poloncarz Statement on Veto of Local Law on Charter Revision

Modified: July 29, 2016 3:23pm

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County Executive cites inconsistencies with state law as reason for veto

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz issued the ensuing statement following his veto of Local Law Intro. No. 9-1 2016, a local law enacted by the Erie County Legislature amending the Erie County Charter. The local law incorporated recommendations brought forth from the Erie County Charter Revision Commission but also included input from the Legislature itself.

Poloncarz Statement: “The local law sent for my review by the Erie County Legislature contains numerous amended articles, some of which would be beneficial revisions to governance in Erie County but others that unfortunately are either illegal under New York State law or would hamstring effective governance. Some of these amendments would unnecessarily transfer new, extensive powers to the Erie County Legislature, substantially increase the size of the Board of Ethics and alter the Code of Ethics in an arbitrary and possibly illegal manner, impose unrealistic time frames for executive approval of governmental actions, and illegally alter the way local laws are adopted.

While I was in agreement with most of the amendments proposed by the Charter Review Commission, some of the amendments presented in this local law are not products of that process but came from other sources, including the Legislature itself. I thank the citizens who labored voluntarily as members of the Charter Review Commission for their work on this important issue, which directly impacts the governance of Erie County and the lives of its residents. While I am compelled to declare portions of this local law null and void and veto it, I would note that many of the amendments contained in this local law are important and could be adopted individually by the Legislature through separate local laws. I encourage this action. However, in its totality this local law contains amendments that violate New York State law and which are not in the best interests of responsible government in Erie County. As such, I am forced to veto this local law.”