Tonawanda News

Local News

December 1, 2012

County calls GOP plan 'irresponsible'

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Hardwick said the caucus has suggested cutting $2.5 million from Poloncarz’s proposal for a retention fund used to to pay for judgements against the county. 

“Right now there’s a balance of $2.5 million or so,” Hardwick said. “There’s plenty of money in there and according to (Poloncarz’s) analysis the average last year was about $2.5 million.” 

Hardwick said the caucus also proposed shaving millions more out of the Erie County Holding Center’s overtime budget under the county executive’s plan. 

“The reason we do that is because we just hired a number of new corrections officers,” he said. 

But Poloncarz has countered that stance, claiming there hasn’t been enough evidence presented, while Democrats hold a slim majority over the Republicans in the 11-person legislature, though some in Poloncarz’s own party have opposed any tax increase, namely Democratic Legislator Thomas Loughran. 

“The minority caucus’ unwillingness to provide any evidence or data to support their proposed cuts during committee speaks volumes,” Poloncarz said. “As county executive, I vowed never to return to the type of budget gimmicks and risky schemes that lead us into the ‘Red-Green’ fiscal crisis, and I will do everything possible to prevent the minority caucus from taking us back down that path.” 

The legislature now has until Tuesday to adopt the budget, including any changes they wish to incorporate. Should Poloncarz veto any items added or increased by the legislature, the group as a whole will have until Dec. 11 to approve any veto overrides before the budget is considered adopted.

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