Poloncarz seeking to resume county borrowing

May 30, 2014

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz wants to get the county back to borrowing on its own, not through the Control Board. The county comptroller, however, may not go along.

It has been ten years since the red/green budget crisis that led to the state-imposed Fiscal Stability Authority.

In recent years, Poloncarz says the county's rating has gone from near junk status to the "A" category. He says now, the county could get better rates on borrowing than the Control Board.

"Based on that and after talking it over with my staff - talking to the comptroller and talking to the Chairperson of the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority, I'm announcing that the county will be reentering the bond market this year," Poloncarz said Thursday.

But borrowing is done by the office of County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, who calls Poloncarz's announcement "bizarre."

Mychajliw says in 2012, the county executive pushed to borrow through the private sector and wasted almost a $1 million in taxpayer dollars.  

"That will not happen on my watch," Mychajliw responded.

"We've been heavily involved here in the Comptroller's Office in the process of borrowing since February. And when we make a decision on the process, we'll let the county executive know. And we'll let the public know, as well."

Poloncarz says putting the county back in the bond market would save hundreds of thousands of dollars. He argues that it would better position the county if it has to help pay for a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.