Taxpayers’ Watchdog Pledges to Return County Government Back to the Residents, Calls Collins Most Divisive, Politically-Motivated Executive Ever
Takes Announcement to the Road with Day-Long Tour of Erie County
Lackawanna, NY-This morning, in front of friends, family and supporters in his hometown of Lackawanna, Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz announced his candidacy for Erie County Executive, pledging to return County government back its residents and serve as an inclusive leader for everyone.
Poloncarz said, “I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth. As the son of a steelworker and a nurse here in Lackawanna, it’s more like a steel spoon. And as your next County Executive, I will never forget where I came from and that I am elected to serve you.”
“Six years ago, at the height of the worst fiscal crisis this community had ever seen, you gave me the privilege to serve as your independent taxpayer watchdog. Although those were dark days, with a lot of hard work, we were able to bring Erie County back from the brink. However, the mistakes that created the ‘Red-Green’ budget crisis are being made once again by a county executive who cares more about getting himself re-elected than serving the people of Erie County.
“Collins says he’s running Erie County like a business. The truth is, he’s raised your taxes and decimated necessary services you rely on, while at the same time giving significant raises to his patronage appointees. Instead of spending tens of millions of federal Stimulus dollars to create jobs, he’s hoarded it for more than two years in order to give himself an election year boost. That’s a raw deal and Erie County residents deserve better.”
After the announcement, Poloncarz took to the road for a day-long tour of Erie County that took him from Lackawanna to Orchard Park, Cheektowaga, Buffalo, Amherst and Tonawanda. At each stop along the way, Poloncarz spoke with residents about the issues unique to their individual communities and further pledged that as County Executive he will represent all of Erie County, not just a select few.
Poloncarz continued, “A county executive should be an inclusive leader for the entire county: urban, suburban and rural. Chris Collins has instead been a divisive figure, pitting urban versus suburban while neglecting the needs of our rural constituents.”
“And, while I am willing to work with all our partners in government and the private sector to find real solutions for the betterment of Erie County, Collins refuses to work with anyone, opting to waste your tax dollars on frivolous lawsuits when he doesn’t get his way.
“I believe Erie County’s best days are ahead of us, but only if we work together to guide our community forward. That is why I have entered this race, and with your support we will return responsible government back to its owners – the residents of Erie County.”
After serving as a business and finance lawyer in the private sector for a number of years, Poloncarz was first elected as Erie County Comptroller during the height of the “Red-Green” fiscal crisis in 2005. In office, he has rooted out waste and fraud in government, created a more efficient Comptroller’s Office and restored fiscal stability to Erie County’s government.
As the taxpayers’ watchdog, one of Poloncarz’s first actions was to strengthen the office’s Audit Division and shape it into an Inspector General-style organization that stops and prevents waste, fraud and abuse of county tax dollars. Since taking office, Mark has conducted more than 50 major audits and reviews of Erie County’s departments, which have identified more than $27 million in cost savings.
Additionally, Poloncarz has lead the charge to make a more efficient county government by pushing for the creation of Erie County’s prescription drug discount program and the adoption of electronic payments for vendors saving the County and those that do business with the County time and money.
As County Executive, Poloncarz will clean up all of county government in the same manner he restored the reputation and trust in the comptroller’s office.