County executive calls for expanded broadband across Erie County, creation of office of consumer protection, promotion of community health through ‘Live Well Erie’ plan
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz on Wednesday delivered his 2019 State of the County address at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo before hundreds of community leaders and county residents, touting the successes of his administration and setting a course for economic and community development into the future. Among many other topics, the county executive’s wide-ranging address recognized the successes of county workforce development programs in helping to lower the unemployment rate, reaffirmed Erie County’s commitment to the fight against lead poisoning, and celebrated the passage of the Public Health Protection Act of 2018. He also noted the extensive investments his administration has made in county infrastructure since 2012.
Poloncarz also laid out several initiatives designed to move Erie County forward, including a plan to expand broadband service countywide, the creation of an office of consumer protection to better protect residents in their banking and consumer affairs, and the implementation of “Live Well Erie,” a new health and human services plan that will focus on the theme of promoting lifelong health and wellness of all county residents. The county executive also called for the creation of an agricultural office, to be tasked with promoting the long-term economic viability of farming and agribusiness in Erie County and protecting farmland from encroachment by nonagricultural uses, as well as the development of a veteran-owned business policy that will make it easier for veterans to do business with the county.
“We have worked hard to build a better Erie County, with solid partnerships that are producing results every year, but there is still work to do,” Poloncarz said. “While it’s good that unemployment has declined to 3.9 percent as of the end of 2018, we’ll keep up our efforts on workforce development to force that number further down. Likewise, we are seeing success in the fight against lead poisoning and other public health hazards, but we will still aggressively combat these problems. Similarly, my administration’s significant investments in infrastructure are undeniable, with hundreds of millions of dollars allocated for this work over the past seven years, and those efforts will continue undiminished.
“Now we will move Erie County forward with investments in broadband technology that will serve all county residents, strengthened consumer protections for residents to protect them in their banking affairs, and a ‘Live Well Erie’ plan to build a healthier community for the long run. We will also advance Erie County’s agricultural sector, ensure an accurate census count so that we receive appropriate federal assistance, and support our veterans with a new county policy that promotes veteran-owned business.”