By Bee Group Newspapers | on December 16, 2021
Frank J. Todaro 8th DISTRICTERIE COUNTY LEGISLATOR
As we head into the final days of the year, I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you are all able to enjoy a happy, healthy holiday with your loved ones. It’s been an honor to represent the residents of Lancaster, Alden, Depew, Bowmansville, and parts of Cheektowaga in the Legislature for the past few years, and I appreciate your support heading into another term in January. For this month’s column, I’d like to highlight a few of the legislative initiatives I have been proud to work on this past year.
First and foremost, keeping taxes low has always been one of my main goals since taking office. As part of this year’s budget process, I proposed a tax cut for all Erie County residents while keeping all other programs and projects in the budget intact. This could have easily been accomplished with the $170 million surplus we are expecting. Unfortunately, members of the Democratic Caucus of the Legislature refused to support this plan and instead passed a budget that raises taxes. I could not support a tax increase. While I am disappointed with the outcome, I will continue keeping a focus on tax relief heading into next year.
I have also been a strong supporter of improving our parks. I’m proud to share I helped secure $150,000 to complete the Bark Park in Como Lake Park, $425,000 to install all-ability inclusive playgrounds in each of the county’s parks, and funding to restore the historic lighthouse in Como Lake Park. The Bark Park came together this fall and has been a fantastic addition to the community. It’s been great to see so many people enjoying many of these additions to the park and I look forward to the completion of ability-inclusive playgrounds in the coming months. Last but not least, I’ve sponsored a number of initiatives to improve public safety. I recently proposed and passed a resolution to install cameras in every area of the holding center to provide greater protection for both officers and inmates in the jail. This will dramatically decrease liabilities that affect taxpayers. I also sponsored a resolution that protects first responders and emergency personnel information from being released. These men and women put their lives on the line every day to protect our community and should not have to fear retaliation.
It’s been a pleasure meeting great people and business owners of the 8th district this past year and I look forward to spending time getting to know more people in the community in 2022. As always, if you have questions, comments, or concerns regarding the topics above or another county-related issue, or would simply like to say hello, please contact my office at Frank.Todaro@erie.gov or by phone at 716-681-2071.