Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz gave his state of the county address Wednesday afternoon.
Poloncarz detailed successes from the first year of his administration including economic development initiatives and better cooperation among governmental partners, while also touching on challenges ahead in upcoming years.
“In the 2011 election, the people of Erie County were presented with a clear choice of what county government can do, and what their community could be. The people spoke and said that county government should seek to provide programs and services that its residents demand, but should do so as effectively and efficiently as possible,” said Poloncarz. “As County Executive, my focus has been on changing the tone of county government to better reflect what taxpayers expect. That has meant cooperating with our partners in government, a commitment to smart growth and sustainability, and an overhaul of our workforce development programs. It has also meant wrapping up a new lease with the Buffalo Bills, addressing our dysfunctional IDA system, and working to attract new businesses to Erie County, among other things.”
Poloncarz announced that the county will reopen the shuttered health clinic at 1500 Broadway in Buffalo as a state-of-the-art “Medical Mall”. The county will partner with Catholic Health Services, UB’s Dental School and Lakeshore Mental Health to provide much-needed primary, dental, and mental health services to an underserved population.
He also introduced an economic development plan that will be detailed this spring, which includes a focus on a blue economy, using the nearness to water as a resource to create business. It also focuses on smart growth. "I'm pro real economic growth for all," says Poloncarz. "I'm not anti-business. I'm pro-taxpayer. I believe a company should justify with hard figures how a government subsidy will yield a positive return to the greater community."