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Letter: Poloncarz should allow commission to do its work

Poloncarz should allow commission to do its work

County Executive Mark Poloncarz’s May 9 Another Voice, “Secret work of Erie County Charter Revision Commission violates need for transparency,” mentions the proposal to extend legislative terms to four years but does not mention the proposal to place the power to redistrict, now exercised by the Legislature, in the hands of an Independent Redistricting Commission.

The decision to extend the legislative term from two to four years has been under discussion for some time with testimony taken on the question from a number of legislators – Democratic and Republican. Hardly an “eleventh hour proposal.” Since members of Poloncarz’s staff were in attendance at every meeting of our committee, I conclude either they did not inform him, or they informed him and he forgot.

On the question of a regional planning council, the criticisms mentioned by the executive were offered by administration spokespersons at a public meeting of the Commission. They have been addressed and a revised proposal has been drafted.

When he penned his broadside, no recommendations had been adopted. Moreover any recommendations that are adopted must be approved by the Legislature, are subject to his veto and must be ratified by the public at a referendum. I have the following advice for the county executive: Allow the commission to do its work without subjecting it to premature and ill-informed press releases. Is the county executive worried about transparency or that the recommendations now being refined by the commission might be able to stand on their own merit?

Peter Galie

Chairman, Legislative Committee

Erie County Charter Revision Commission