Road construction entangled in politics

County Road Construction Tangled In Politics

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Politics in Erie County appears to be getting in the way of fixing some roads in dire need of repaving and other work. Erie County Legislator John Mills released a voice mail message he received this week from the County Executive, which he calls a "bribe."

In the message, Mark Poloncarz identifies himself and then says "“I know you’ve got a number of things to talk on, not the least of which is the charter, but I want to talk about AFSCME, I want to talk about ECMC borrowing, and also roadwork. You saw the letter that was sent over by John Loffredo. We have about $800,000 that’s not allocated right now for road work. As I said to you before, I can do Boston Springville Road, but I want key commitments on a couple things, then I’ll sign over that stuff to get that road done."

2 On Your Side asked the County Executive about the message. "It's not a bribe, it's horsetrading," he said. "For him to allege that there was a bribe or something like that that's ridiculous. there's nothing criminal, this is how government works, you exchange, you negotiate."

Mills was quick to respond, "he can say horsetrading, whatever he wants, it's a bribe. I don't do business like that, I'm a man of integrity."

Meanwhile there are roads like Springville Boston Road waiting work to be done. "It's a major corridor to the Southern Tier, if the 219 expressway goes down for some reason there's no route for school buses, emergency services, transportation of goods and services into the southern tier. It's critical," said Mills.

When asked if it will get done, Poloncarz says "it might get done, but I'm disappointed because I've got Legislator Rath saying I want Maple and Conner Road done,  I've got Legislator Dixon saying I want Old Lakeshore Road done, and trust me they've all said Mark, what do you want in exchange for those roads?"


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