erie county legislature

Local
9:02 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Legislators raise doubts over CPS plans

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz in past news briefings on CPS reform with Commissioner Carol Dankert-Maurer
Credit WBFO News file photo

The Poloncarz administration's reform plan for Child and Protective Services is "raising questions" among some Erie County legislators.

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Local
3:24 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Legislators question sheriff on cell phone tracker

Sheriff Timothy Howard went before the Legislature's Public Safety Committee on Thursday.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

WBFO's Chris Caya reports

Members of the Erie County Legislature raised their privacy concerns over cell phone spying with Sheriff Timothy Howard on Thursday.

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Legal
8:19 am
Wed May 14, 2014

New Social Host law aims to curb underage drinking

Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon discussing Social Host Law.
Credit Photo provided by Erie County Legislature Republican Caucus

A new local law approved by Erie County lawmakers has been designed to curb underage drinking.  WBFO's Eileen Buckley reports the Social Host Law would hold adults accountable for allowing minors to drink on their property.

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Local
3:20 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Sheriff defends use of phone tracking equipment

Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

Cell phone tracking equipment used by the Erie County Sheriff's Department does not store data, according to Sheriff Timothy Howard.

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Local
5:07 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Disputes arise over county-issued phones

Controversy followed an audit conducted by the office of Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw.
Credit WBFO File Photo

When Republicans were the minority party in the Erie County Legislature, their top staffer had a county-issued cell phone. That issue is at the center of a growing controversy inside county government.

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Local
11:35 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Erie County lawmakers approve road, bridge construction plans

The roads, bridges and highways set for repair in Erie County this year are highlighted in blue and green. The additional roads in need of fixing this year are highlighted in pink.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO News

The Erie County Legislature approved a $27.1 million infrastructure improvement plan for county roadways Thursday. The spending plan includes $4.5 million for additional roads in need of repair this year.

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Local
9:31 am
Fri April 11, 2014

County leaders reject library district

Erie County Legislators rejected a resolution of support for a new library district.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and eight members of the Erie County Legislature agree on one issue: they don't want the library system turned into a separate taxing district.

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Local
2:30 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Legislator suggests loans rather than free college for inmates

Legislator Betty Jean Grant is proposing an alternative to free college for prison inmates.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

A local lawmaker is proposing an alternative to Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to give prison inmates a free college education.

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Dems dysfunction leaves legislative void
5:00 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Press Pass: Marinelli's seat and school board influence

Chris Jamele and Artvoice editor Geoff Kelly
Credit WBFO News file photo / WBFO News

County Legislator Lynn Marinelli stepped down from her post in January, but no progress has been made in filling that seat.

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Local
9:25 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Legislators to go on record against inmate college plan

Credit File photo

WBFO's Chris Caya reports

Governor Andrew Cuomo defended his plan for giving prison inmates a free college education during a stop this week in Amherst. But some local lawmakers aren't buying it.

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Local
1:17 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Marinelli leaving Legislature for state job

Lynn Marinelli is leaving the Erie County Legislature to take a state job.
Credit erie.gov

WBFO's Chris Caya reports

Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed Lynn Marinelli, a longtime Erie County legislator, to a post with Empire State Development.

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Environment
4:40 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Erie County lawmakers vote to ban fracking

A large group of citizens came to County Hall Thursday to encourage legislators to vote for the fracking ban.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Erie County legislators voted in a bipartisan manner Thursday to ban natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing in the county, commonly known as fracking.

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Environment
9:00 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Erie County Legislature to vote on fracking ban today

Several fracking protests have taken place in the area in recent years, including when President Obama came to visit UB in August.
Credit File photo

Legislation that would ban hydrofracking on county-owned land is expected to be voted on today by the Erie County Legislature.

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Local
1:46 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Poloncarz defends use of borrowing in newly-passed budget

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Democratic Legislator Timothy Hogues
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is praising fellow Democrats in the Legislature majority for approving the 2014 county budget by a 6-5 vote Tuesday.

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Local
11:35 am
Wed November 6, 2013

McCarthy reviews election results

Buffalo News political reporter Bob McCarthy
Credit WBFO News file photo

Now that they've grabbed the majority in the Erie County Legislature, Republicans  are  "going to make life miserable for County Executive (Mark) Poloncarz, I think," said Buffalo News Political Bob McCarthy during a post-election conversation on WBFO's Morning Edition.

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Erie County Legislature
11:34 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Republicans take control of Erie County Legislature

"Majority Maker" Ted Morton, 8th District winner
Credit Photo by Mark Scott

For the first time in 35 years, the Republicans will have outright control of the Erie County Legislature.  It was one of several big victories for the local GOP in Tuesday's elections. 

WBFO'S Mark Scott reports on Tuesday's Republican victories.

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Local
4:24 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Proposed Erie County budget spends more without raising taxes

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz unveiled his budget Tuesday.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says he is submitting a budget for next year with a steady property tax rate that cuts a few jobs, puts more money into the arts and library, and sets up an economic development office in Toronto.

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Erie County Legislature
9:32 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

County Legislature approves hiring of more child protection caseworkers

Social Services Commissioner Carol Dankert-Maurer
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO news

Erie County legislators Thursday cleared the way for seven more caseworkers for the overloaded Child Protective Services division in the wake of the death of a child allegedly killed by his mother's boyfriend.

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Local
8:25 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Legislature hears case for additional Child Protection staff

Erie County Social Services Commissioner Carol Dankert-Maurer makes her case to the Erie County Legislature.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO news

The push is on to hire more Social Sevice workers in Erie County following the tragic death of 5-year-old Eian Brooks.

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Politics
2:10 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Legislature leader Mazur won't run for re-election

Legislature Majority Leader Thomas Mazur

Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Thomas Mazur announced his future retirement Friday. Mazur, a Democrat, will step aside from his 7th District seat when his current term expires on December 31.

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Local
12:54 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Legislators want beer ads removed from NFTA trains

Beer ad on NFTA Metro Rail car

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is being urged to remove alcohol advertising from its public transportation vehicles.

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Local
9:57 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Erie County taps financial markets for big loan

Erie County Legislature
Credit WBFO News file photo

Erie County's finances are looking a little shaky as it goes into the financial markets for the biggest loan since the fiscally-disastrous days of the "Red-Green" budget. 

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Local
5:00 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Republican county lawmakers want hearing on unsecured records, deputy county executive responds

Erie County Legislature's Minority Caucus
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Members of the Erie County Legislature's Minority Caucus are calling for a full investigation into the improper disposal of confidential Social Services documents.

WBFO'S Eileen Buckley reports on mishandled documents.

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Local
1:22 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Residency requirement proposed for Erie County workers

Credit File photo

A residency requirement is being proposed for employees of Erie County. If approved, new workers would be required to live in the county.

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Local
9:25 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Legislature approves 10-year lease for Bills stadium, includes luxury box for Governor

Deputy County Executive Richard Tobe helped negotiate the new lease deal.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

The Erie County Legislature unanimously approved a new 10-year lease deal for Ralph Wilson Stadium Thursday afternoon, the last major obstacle to cementing a long-term commitment with the Buffalo Bills.

WBFO'S Mike Desmond reports on Thursday approval for the new Buffalo Bills stadium lease

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Local
3:47 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Erie County legislators endorse repeal of new gun laws, as Cuomo stands firm

Erie County lawmakers voted 7-4 Thursday afternoon in favor of a resolution calling for repeal of the state's new gun control laws. Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo, in Buffalo today, said political opposition to the NY SAFE Act is based in "fear."

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Local
9:50 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Most support tax hike at county budget hearing

Erie County Hall
Credit File photo

Again this year, the annual public hearing on the proposed Erie County budget was dominated by cultural agencies and the library system.

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Local
4:51 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Republican county legislators push control board savings

GOP lawmakers responded Wednesday to County Executive Mark Poloncarz's mid-year budget assessment.
Chris Caya/WBFO News

Members of the Erie County Legislature's Minority Caucus are pushing a plan they claim will save millions of dollars. 

County Executive Mark Poloncarz issued a mid-year budget warning Monday, saying the county faces more than $50 million in unanticipated costs.  GOP lawmakers are calling on Poloncarz to borrow and refinance through the county Control Board. 

Legislator Ed Rath says that will save taxpayers nearly $3 million.  

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Local
9:17 am
Tue June 19, 2012

ECC struggles with budget priorities

ECC staff voiced budget concerns at Monday's legislature hearing.
mike desmond/wbfo

Erie County legislators were told on Monday ECC has to have more money to keep it an effective college.

Student tuition now provides around 52 percent of the proposed $111 million budget, which includes a $300 annual tuition increase. The county's share holds steady just over $17 million and 44 vacant positions are being abolished.

College President Jack Quinn says cuts in state aid and frozen county dollars made the fiscal situation worse. The budget has to go to legislators for a vote.

Dozens of college union members showed up to say the county has to do better.

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Crime
4:14 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Former legislator admits practicing law while disbarred

Former Erie County Legislator David Dale, a disbarred lawyer from Lancaster, faces possible jail time after pleading guilty to a fraud charge.  

Dale, 49, went before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns Tuesday and pled to one charge of first-degree felony scheme to defraud and one count of practice of law by an attorney who has been disbarred.

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