Erie County Executive Poloncarz on Thursday kicked off his re-election campaign with his State of the County address while two potential challengers stood just a a few feet away.
The county executive ran through a litany of all the good things he says are going on. That ranges from an unemployment rate lower than the state and national averages and 14,000 new private sector jobs since he took office. He says the county's books balance, economic development efforts are better planned and there has been a re-balancing of contracts with county unions.
"Through prudent budget, investing in our community's well being and focusing on improving our region's infrastructure, we have laid the groundwork for a better, stronger Erie County," Poloncarz said during his address at the Central Library.
"In the process, we have created a county that works for all of its residents, from a newborn born to immigrant parents on the West Side of Buffalo to the fourth generation of family farmer nearing retirement in Marilla."
He says the county is moving to improve the social economy here, like the Health Mall on Broadway which has seen 10,000 visitors. That's his Initiatives for a Stronger Community to go with his Initiatives for a Smart Economy.
He took credit for this year's property tax decrease, which prompted a reaction from Legislature Chairman John Mills says.
"It was very interesting since it was the legislators' tax decrease. You know, it is what it is. The proof is in the pudding. And, we'll see with the roads and bridges and drainage and budgets and spending. That's still out there. That's something we have to address," Mills said.
Republicans haven't been happy with Poloncarz' work on roads and bridges although he says the county will spend $25 million on roads and bridges this year.