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Poloncarz vetoes legislators’ changes to county charter

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz has, as promised, vetoed changes to the county charter that were approved by legislators 2½ weeks ago.

Poloncarz vetoed a law passed July 14 by the County Legislature that included about 50 changes to the county charter, including extended terms for legislators, expanded ethics requirements and limiting the power of the county executive over the County Attorney’s Office.

Poloncarz, a Democrat, had previously said he would veto the law, which passed the County Legislature by a 6-5, party-line vote with the support of Republican legislators and the opposition of Democratic legislators.

The county executive said in a statement that he supported most of the amendments in the law proposed by the Charter Review Commission, but he opposed some of the amendments included in the law that came from other sources, “including the Legislature itself.” He said he believes some of the provisions of the law would be illegal if enacted.

Poloncarz encouraged legislators to adopt the amendments he favors through separate local laws. The Legislature could attempt to override Poloncarz’s veto, but success is unlikely because that would require a supermajority of at least eight legislators.

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