County executive needs to end state of emergency now

By Bee Group Newspapers | on February 17, 2022

Frank J. Todaro

8th DISTRICT

ERIE COUNTY LEGISLATOR

It’s been a busy month down here at Old County Hall. Fortunately, COVID-19 numbers are going down and it seems we’re reaching that light at the end of the tunnel. I know the past few years have been tough for everyone, but I believe we are in a good spot to return to normalcy and bring an end to pandemic-related restrictions.

A few weeks ago, my colleagues and I in the Legislature’s Minority Caucus submitted a pair of resolutions urging Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz to end the state of emergency and give up his executive authority. He has been continuously renewing the county’s state of emergency since March 2020. We as legislators haven’t had a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions in response to the pandemic. When legislators are cut out of the process, the people we represent are also cut out of the process. That’s not the way government should operate. Back in December, when Omicron cases began rising, I proposed increasing the county’s testing supply ahead of the holidays. The county executive refused, and cases skyrocketed as a result. This is just one example of how the current system has failed.

Unfortunately, both resolutions were shot down by Democrats in the legislature, and the county executive is not budging on removing the state of emergency or giving up executive authority. We are not in the same emergency situation we were in during March 2020. We need to get back to a system of checks and balances as soon as possible.

In other news, I recently had the opportunity to speak at the State of the Town of Cheektowaga. It was great to speak alongside Supervisor Benczkowski and other elected officials who work hard to advocate for our community. I also want to thank the many businesses that were in attendance. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and they have truly seen it all throughout the past few years. I applaud all the great work they and the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce are doing.

As always, if you have questions, comments or concerns regarding the above topics or another county-related issue, please contact my office at Frank.Todaro@erie.gov or by phone at 716-681-2071. To stay up to date on things happening throughout the community and Erie County, you can also follow my Facebook page at Legislator Frank Todaro.

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