erie county legislature

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. 

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

Legislature leader Mazur won't run for re-election

May 31, 2013

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.

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

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. 

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.

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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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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.

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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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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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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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.

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.

WBFO News photos by Mike Desmond

A computerized animal abuse registry for Erie County is inching closer. Legislators held a public hearing into the matter Thursday night at County Hall in downtown Buffalo.

Legislator Terry McCracken is proposing the registry so data on people with criminal convictions for animal abuse would be online for five years and could be checked by pet stores or animal welfare groups to prevent them from obtaining more animals through purchase or adoption.

Chris Caya/WBFO

The mistaken release of a man charged with attempted murder landed Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard in the hot seat in County Hall. 

The Legislature's Public Safety Committee questioned Howard for nearly an hour about the wrongful release of 32-year-old Awet Gebreyesus who was ordered held without bail after allegedly stabbing his wife in the entrance of the Amherst Street Wegmans in January. 

WBFO file photo

A local law legislating cyberbullying is now on the books in Erie County.  County Executive Mark Poloncarz signed the measure today after it gained passage in the legislature last month. 

The law makes cyberbullying against a minor or a student a misdemeanor crime punishable by as long as a year in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000. 

But in signing the law, Poloncarz also expressed "serious doubts" about whether or not it is enforceable in its current form. 

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