Sandra Tan, The Buffalo News
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Sandra Tan

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Cityside reporter primarily covering Erie County government. Previously covered Buffalo Public Schools and other community and issue-oriented beats.

When Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz delivers his annual State of the County address on Wednesday at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, it will be a slightly different animal than the one he rolled out last year. His address in 2016 featured 10 ambitious initiatives that he previously joked would be enough to cover him for the next several years. That is provi…

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz deliberated on whether to show before-and-after photos of Ruth Murray as part of his press conference for a new measures to protect nursing home residents. In the end, he decided he could show the "before" photo -- taken one day before she was attacked -- but not the "after." "Truthfully, they're too shocking to show in public," Polo…

Erie County Medical Center will get its money for a new emergency department and other upgrades. But supporters of the $100 million-plus borrowing deal first had to overcome a series of last-minute, head-spinning maneuvers and a flurry of amendments on the floor of the Erie County Legislature that tied up lawyers, required repeated intervention by the chairman, and prom…

Erie County is losing population – but that’s happening across the state. More people are moving out than moving in here, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The 2016 estimate reverses a growth trend in Erie County and in New York State, where population dropped for the first time in a decade. “People are moving away from the state,” said Peter Borsella, …

Buffalo Bills players will be on Erie County-owned land when they tackle, throw, catch and run on a new practice field. Erie County lawmakers on Thursday voted 10-1 to take ownership of the three acres next to the Bills' existing practice facilities. Last week, a few legislators questioned whether Erie County should take title to the land. The Bills bought the proper…

The Buffalo Bills bought three acres of property where the team wants to construct an outdoor practice field. But the team doesn't want to pay taxes on the land. Instead, the football club wants the property rolled into the 197-acre stadium complex already owned by Erie County, which includes New Era Field, the Bills' Field House and other practice facilities. Erie C…

A judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday to keep the Erie County Legislature from forcing control board members to answer their questions Tuesday about a planned $100 million borrowing for the Erie County Medical Center. Legislature Chairman John Mills, R-Orchard Park, had signed a subpoena for control board members to appear before the Finance and Managemen…

Employees in the Erie County Comptroller's Office who were sent home by Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw after spotting a bedbug in the office will be paid, after all. Mychajliw sent some 30 staffers home after one of them spotted a bedbug crawling across a work space on March 10. But county personnel administrators and Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said last w…

More than one out of every four residents throughout Erie County relies on federal assistance to pay their winter heating bills. That’s why many fear President Trump’s plan to eliminate the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program - better known as HEAP - will leave hundreds of thousands of local residents in the cold. “It’s heartless,” said County Executi…

Some 30 unnerved Erie County employees were sent home early last week when a bedbug was spotted crawling in their Rath Building office. Their boss said they would still be paid. But Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw overstepped his authority to make that promise, said county officials. And now his employees are feeling the bite. The employees are now being told they must…

Plans for a new Erie County Medical Center emergency department and other improvements cleared a major hurdle this week. The Erie County control board voted 5-1 to borrow up to $120 million on behalf of the hospital. The control board also agreed to refinance other hospital debt to make the new borrowing affordable. But more hurdles remain. County lawmakers and County E…

Two days of snow won't hinder teams and their fans from making their way to KeyBank Center for the NCAA Tournament basketball games Thursday. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said 25 crews will help clear streets and sidewalks in and around the arena and downtown area to make sure fans can easily reach the arena. Many of the crews are using smaller pieces of equipment, and the…

The 1,700 Erie County employees at the Rath Building have unwanted company – bed bugs. Exterminators over three months have baited and sprayed eight floors of the downtown county office building after bed bug sightings. When a Comptroller's Office employee saw one crawling across her cubicle partition Friday, she called for help. Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw shut down…

Erie County legislators say County Executive Mark Poloncarz illegally manipulated the county budget to make it difficult for nearly 70 cultural and community organizations to receive $468,000 from the Legislature. "Mark is breaking the law, and we're going to sue," said Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo, C-West Seneca. The Legislature chairman and county comptroller also…

Some members of the Erie County Legislature are threatening to subpoena the Erie County control board to compel its members to answer legislator questions about a proposed $100 million borrowing deal to benefit Erie County Medical Center. "As someone who believes in transparency in government, and has done everything he can to ensure transparency, I find it shocking tha…