In his State of the County address Wednesday night, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is calling for an 'War on Poverty', saying something needs to be done to deal with the issue that is effecting children in school to seniors who are fiscally on the edge. The county executive delivered his address from the Buffalo and Erie County Central Library in downtown Buffalo.
The county executive told a packed house government is part of the solution not part of the problem saying it can work for the benefit of the entire region. Poloncarz said that ranges from effective snow-fighting in this unending winter to economic development actions which are adding jobs and lowering the unemployment rate to fighting child abuse with more people and enhanced effort.
Referring to winter's effects on roads, Poloncarz said particularly bad roads will be fixed.
"While we cannot get to every road that needs repair as soon as possible, I am moving forward to fix a number of roads that been problems for many years. In 2014, we will be investing at least $23-million on our roads and bridges in all areas of the county. Included in that is funding to repair Goodrich Road in Clarence and Sowles Road in Hamburg, which were right behind Kenmore Avenue as two of the worst roads in all of Erie County," said Poloncarz.
Poloncarz cited Kenmore Avenue as an example of governments working together since the county and Buffalo are working together to repair a street both partially own.
Some of what the county executive says drew praise from County Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo although he wanted more spending on infrastructure and more concern about taxes. Lorigo praises the greater push against child abuse.
"When we talk about, you know, making sure our children are safe and all of that, you know, the CPS stuff really does hit home. You know, not that it would ever be something that I would personally have to deal with but we do have to take care of our kids. I will have my own son, my first son, in two months time and the fact that someone can hurt a child is absolutely disgusting and we need to do better at taking care of those children," said Lorigo.
Lorigo said his Legislature majority and the county executive can work together on many programs.