This morning, County Executive Mark Poloncarz issued a press release highlighting that an independent consultant, hired by the executive office, uncovered an overcharge of nearly one million dollars from Verizon.
I applaud the initiative taken by the executive to ensure that this overage was uncovered and that the lost funding will be returned. However, it must be acknowledged that this should never have fallen to Poloncarz’s office to address. It is the comptroller’s role to safeguard the taxpayers’ money, yet Stefan failed in his oversight and execution of this role. As a media personality with no experience in financial management, the county’s 1.7 billion dollar budget is not safe in his hands. This overcharge is a shocking example of how poorly-suited he is for the job. How did something this significant slip through his fingers?
In the five years since he was elected, the current comptroller has spent his time issuing unrelated press releases, shaming union workers, stalling deals, and serving his funders. In the weeks and months leading to the upcoming election, the role of comptroller has been essentially unfilled. Ever the candidate, never the comptroller, Stefan has shown us the damage he is capable of.
Erie County, it is now our choice. We can and must do better in November.