Sandra Tan, The Buffalo News

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Sandra Tan

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


Erie County Legislator Edward Rath III wants to make impersonating a veteran or member of the military a crime. Rath will introduce Thursday a proposed "Theft of Valor" law that makes it a crime to impersonate a veteran or member of the military for financial gain. Those found guilty would face criminal misdemeanor charges and fines. "Erie County is joining municipal…

The race for the Erie County comptroller's seat continues to rack up endorsements on both sides. Stefan Mychaliw has, for the first time, snagged a coveted endorsement from the Good Government Club of Western New York. The incumbent Republican comptroller said he was delighted to receive the endorsement since many of its members are Democrats who recognize his hard work…

County Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo, C-West Seneca, found a way to give the Legislature credit for County Executive Mark Poloncarz's proposing a budget with a tax cut of a penny. "After he tried to raise taxes on Erie County residents in the past, he has finally received the message that a majority of the Erie County Legislature will not let that happen," L…

The proposed $1.48 billion Erie County budget has come under fire from County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, who said County Executive Mark Poloncarz's plan relies too heavily on county fund balance and cash back from Erie County Medical Center to balance the scales. "This budget is balanced artificially using smoke and mirrors," Mychajliw said. He again criticized Po…

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the two young children of the mother who was killed in a high-speed collision on the Thruway in the Town of Hamburg Friday night after another woman driving the wrong way struck her vehicle. Amherst resident Jessica L. O'Connor, 29, was taken to Erie County Medical Center with serious injuries and died later that night. Her young chil…

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz's proposed $1.48 billion budget for 2018 would grow the county workforce by 16 people. And most of those employees will be cleaners. The new positions represent the latest attempt by the administration to address the bedbug problem at the Rath Building and numerous complaints from employees regarding the main county building's cle…

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently endorsed fellow Democrat Vanessa Glushefski for Erie County comptroller. "With her experience as an attorney and CPA, along with her dedication to public service, Vanessa Glushefski is highly qualified to serve as County Comptroller,"DiNapoli said in a statement. Glushefski said she was honored to have his endorsement as som…

The two candidates for Erie County comptroller are waging a hard campaign to win voter attention in a low-turnout year, and both have recently posted videos to their social media pages touting their qualifications. Democratic challenger Vanessa Glushefski posted a 45-second social media spot touting her credentials as a certified accountant. "Our vibrant community, o…

Steve Cichon, the Democratic-endorsed candidate for Erie County clerk, has been handing out palm cards that state, "I think the County Clerk's office is the greatest job in Erie County. It's the most direct service-oriented position in government." High praise for a position that processes deeds, titles, pistol permits, car registrations and driver's licenses. But his o…

County Executive Mark Poloncarz recently posted a tweet promoting a fund raiser for Legislature Minority Leader Thomas Loughran. Not uncommon. What was uncommon was its length. Poloncarz not only had room to mention the fund raiser, but that Loughran is being targeted by Republicans and Conservatives for his support of the Erie County Medical Center financing deal. Then…

Both candidates for the Erie County comptroller's seat are counting on union support on Election Day. While Vanessa Glushefski has racked up nine union endorsements so far, Republican incumbent Stefan Mychajliw isn't conceding union votes to his Democratic challenger. He's won six union endorsements of his own, primarily from police unions. The Amherst Police Club r…

County Legislature Minority Leader Thomas Loughran, D-Amherst, won re-election two years ago with the help of an endorsement by Erie County Conservative Party, whose votes gave him the critical edge  to defeat challenger Guy Marlette, a former Amherst Town Board member. But Loughran was denied the county Conservative endorsement this year. Party Chairman Ralph Lorigo d…

Former Amherst Town Board member Guy Marlette, who is running against Democrat Thomas Loughran for the 5th District County Legislature seat in Amherst, says Democratic County Executive Mark Poloncarz has done some good things overall. But his social media habits are not one of them, said Marlette, who spoke to The Buffalo News Editorial Board. Marlette, a registered …

Now that Erie County and other municipal governments adopted a Shared Services Plan designed to save taxpayers up to $4.5 million next year, County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said it's time to put the plan into action. "Erie County and local governments will now begin to implement the initiatives included in this plan," said Poloncarz, in a presentation Monday at Erie …

Michelle Schoeneman has found a topic she hopes will elevate her 10th District campaign against incumbent  Joseph Lorigo: The Erie County Water Authority. Lorigo, the Erie County Legislature Majority Leader, in August said he would call the Erie County Water Authority before the Legislature in September to answer questions, including those related to spending and trans…