Mark Poloncarz For Erie County Executive

7 May

Poloncarz speaking before supporters in 2010

The 2012 race for Erie County Executive is finally underway.  Earlier today, before a throng of supporters in his hometown of Lackawanna, Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz formally announced his candidacy for the office. He’ll face King Chris Collins in the general election in November.

In his speech, Poloncarz pledged 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 has maintained since his first day as a candidate that he isn’t a “politician”, but a businessman.  During his term, Collins has proven to be the ultimate politician crafting deals to construct a compliant majority in the legislature as well as making political decisions with our tax dollars.

Added Poloncarz, “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.”

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 pledges to clean up all of county government in the same manner he restored the reputation and trust in the comptroller’s office.

7 Responses to “Mark Poloncarz For Erie County Executive”

  1. kris at 8:54 pm #

    i think poloncarz may be the first campaign i volunteer for.

  2. Brian Castner at 9:24 am #

    “He’ll face King Chris Collins in the general election in November.” When Hochul loses in a couple weeks, she has no chance of running?

  3. Christopher Smith at 12:28 pm #

    I think Kathy is going to win. If she doesn’t, the word on the street is that she will not be running for County Executive in 2011. In The Buffalo News yesterday, Len Lenihan said the field was clear for Mark. So, it looks like it’s a two man race.

  4. JudahMaccabbee at 1:08 pm #

    Not a two man race. One man versus “One Evil Millionaire.” Or one “man of the working class” versus “the pawn of Spaulding Lake”.

    Sorry, just preparing myself for the upcoming class warfare rhetoric.

  5. RaChaCha at 2:15 pm #

    To Brian’s question: some weeks ago there was speculation about that, but Kathy quashed it unequivocally to the Buffalo News. As for NY26, the R’s may well focus on stamping Jack Davis into the ground, and trust enrollment advantage to do the rest. That would work to Kathy Hochul’s advantage.

    The commenters here who have so openly dismissed Hochul’s chances of winning will, I hope, show up election eve to shake her hand and wish her well, should things prove otherwise.

  6. Brian Castner at 3:08 pm #

    @ Chris – And I think (not hope) Corwin will win, but either way, I think a fair observer would place the race in the “too close to call” category certainly. I don’t claim to know her mind, but if she really won’t run for CE, I wonder what she will do. I doubt driver’s lisences and passport applications will hold as much luster after considering Congress.

  7. Joe Schuder II at 9:20 am #

    So, where do I sign up to be the the second campaign volunteer? Where’s his campaign HQ? Who’s recruiting? Answers! Answers! Answers! Let’s get moving!

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