Weekly Feature

2017-05-17 / Letters to the Editor

Rath doesn’t understand financial plan

I was disappointed but not surprised after looking at Legislator (Edward) Rath’s column in The Clarence Bee earlier this month in which he voiced vague criticisms of my administration’s Four-Year Financial Plan — the same plan that was approved by the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority despite the objections of the legislator and his caucus. The disappointment came not only from Mr. Rath’s obvious misunderstanding of the plan, evidenced by his oversimplified and incorrect “explanation” of how the plan works, but also from his stated objective to purposely hamstring future budgets.

I am sure readers of this column are familiar with Mr. Rath’s unswerving advocacy for increased road funding, a familiar and comfortable drum that he beats with regularity. The Four-Year Plan approved by the ECFSA includes responsible and realistic appropriations for infrastructure like this, yet that’s not enough for the legislator and his caucus. They will continue to demand more money for roads at any cost, all while spouting about the “need to cut spending” and “make tough decisions” but offering no plan to do so.

The legislator also states that he “cannot support a tax increase,” which is reminiscent of certain county legislators from a decade ago who forced the county into the red/green fiscal crisis by recklessly spending while cutting taxes. It took years to fix their mess and restore our county’s good credit rating. No one is pushing for a tax increase, but the legislator’s determination to close off potential county revenue streams while pushing to increase spending is a dangerous road we’ve been down before, and a road I will not allow the county to travel again.

We are here to lead and serve residents, not to stake out unchanging positions and hold resolutely to misguided premises. I encourage Legislator Rath and his caucus to move past the rhetoric and refocus on the best ways to serve our community.

Mark Poloncarz
Erie County Executive

Coach Layer will be missed

I would like to laud Mark Layer, the recently retired Clarence High football coach, for his many years of dedication and allegiance to the student athletes of our district.

Our family has had the pleasure of knowing Mark for the past 32 years. He taught both of my children at Clarence Elementary and coached one at the high school. They gained much as a result of his tutelage. I also interacted with coach Layer on the football field as a field official on many occasions. He always conducted himself in a professional manner, regardless of my calls.

From my observations, whether winning or losing, he consistently coached his athletes in a manner befitting their best interest, which helped set the proper atmosphere for their future development.

Kudos to coach Layer for his years of loyal service to our community. He will be missed.

C. Douglas Hartmayer
High Street
Clarence Center

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