Growing the Economy

Mark at Zittel Farms, one of Erie County's oldest family farms.

Mark at Zittel Farms, one of Erie County’s oldest family farms in the Eden Valley.

When he ran to be YOUR County Executive in 2011, Mark pledged to focus his administration on growing our local economy and creating jobs, and that is exactly what he has done. On the day Mark was sworn in as YOUR County Executive, the unemployment rate in Erie County was 8.9% but because of the effort Mark and others have undertaken it has now dropped to 4.7% (through November 2016). Additionally, and more importantly, since Mark took office, almost 20,000 new private sector jobs have been created in the Buffalo-Niagara metro market.

Mark understands that we needed to grow our region by reaching outside of it for new investment. As a candidate for County Executive he pledged, if elected, he would attempt to bring more Canadian businesses to our region, and as YOUR County Executive that is exactly what he has done, including playing a key role to bring Welded Tube of Canada’s new $40 million investment to the former site of the Bethlehem Steel complex.

In 2013, Mark introduced his “Initiatives for a Smart Economy” which are a comprehensive and innovative approach to economic development that builds meaningful partnerships across many sectors, harnessing their energies into collaborations that effectively address our region’s challenges while shaping a stronger future. Since its release, as of December, 2016, 40 of the 64 initiatives have been completed, and others are well on the way to completion, all resulting in many new jobs and investment for our region.

Additionally, when he was elected, Mark pledged to work to reform the way industrial development agencies (IDAs) give out tax breaks to businesses. From his seat on the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) board, Mark has stood up to businesses asking for tax breaks that don’t create jobs or new net economic wealth for our region. He has additionally called for and implemented at the ECIDA new policies that (1) require our local labor force be used on any construction project receiving tax breaks; (2) a recapture policy that requires developers and business owners who receive a tax break to pay back the tax break if the jobs promised to be created are not in fact created; and (3) an equal pay policy mandating that all companies that ask for a tax break actually pay their female employees the same as their male employees and proving it through random audits.

Why has Mark done this? Because he understands that you deserve a County Executive who will work on YOUR behalf to create a stronger, better economy. That is exactly what he has done as YOUR County Executive and what he will continue to do in the future.

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