Comptroller Critical of Proposed Erie Co. Budget

October 13, 2010 Updated Oct 13, 2010 at 6:31 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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October 13, 2010 Updated Oct 13, 2010 at 6:31 PM EDT


Eight percent of workers employed by Erie County would lose their jobs while property taxes would stay the same under Erie County Executive Chris Collins' proposed budget. County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz blasted Collins' budget on Wednesday though saying its full of gimmicks.

Poloncarz is accusing the county executive of targeting opponents with his budget while hiding revenue. "This budget while it's balanced on paper is not structurally sound. It has problems. It has deficiencies. It has over-spending in some areas and cuts that are probably not needed in others," says Poloncarz, "We believe they're trying to hide revenue, putting it in expense lines that'll never be spent so at the end of the day they can say they needed to cut elsewhere so that they could offset the spending they did elsewhere."

Poloncarz points to cuts for cultural organizations, libraries, and a 36% cut to his own comptroller's office while departments such as jail management and the county attorney are getting increases.

"It's not a question of being targeted politically. It's a question of looking at positions, determining what gives us the best return for our tax dollars," explains Collins' budget director Gregory Gach.

Many jobs being eliminated under the proposed budget are clerical positions that Gach says technology has made expendable, and he says the comptroller's office is not keeping up with the times. "He's (Poloncarz) not taking advantage of the technological advances that are out there that you need to do today," says Gach, "Everybody doesn't need a clerk or secretary to do their work. I don't have a secretary. I answer my own phone. I do all my own correspondence."

Click on the following link to read Poloncarz's report: http://www.erie.gov/comptroller/pdfs/2011%20Budget%20Review%20Final.pdf