Political barbs continuing to delay new convention center study

Apr 6, 2018

Erie County Legislator Joseph Lorigo is accusing the Poloncarz Administration of a continued lack of cooperation in providing information that, he says, is needed if lawmakers are to vote on a request for more money for an expanded future convention center study.

Lorigo, the Legislature's minority leader, has filed a Freedom of Information Law request, but complains he's been told the information would be subject to redacting.

"What's missing from this entire argument is the fact that the administration is asking the legislature to make a decision to spend money and they're refusing to give us the necessary information to make that decision," Lorigo said. "And it's not just me who's upset about it. A bipartisan group of legislators have opposed this blatant disrespect by the administration in not giving us the information that we've requested from us."

County Executive Poloncarz says he has not disclosed the additional sites because he is trying to prevent developers from getting advanced word, in order to buy those parcels and inflate their sale prices.

"It's disappointing that it's taken this long," Poloncarz says. "We're not talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars. We're talking about approximately an additional $60,000 - and the legislature has already approved, in the past through the bond resolution, more money to be spent than we're spending right now, so I'm hopeful that we move forward so we make a sound, wise decision on the future of the convention center."

Poloncarz says Lorigo, who is an attorney, represents many of the developers who would be interested in that land. He also denies suggestions that he is withholding the information to protect his own interests.