Mark C. Poloncarz is Erie County’s eighth County Executive. He is a graduate of Lackawanna Senior High School, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and the University of Toledo’s College of Law. Before being elected as County Executive, Poloncarz served as Erie County Comptroller for six years.
Since being sworn in as County Executive on January 1, 2012, Poloncarz has worked to change the culture of Erie County government and return it to its core mission: providing the programs and services that residents and taxpayers demand in an efficient and effective way.
Mark Poloncarz has led the way to balanced county budgets in each year he’s been in office and has cut county taxes to levels not seen since the mid- 90’s. As a result Erie’s county tax rate is now among the lowest in New York State. At the same time, Erie County’s credit rating has risen significantly under his watch while the county has continued to invest millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements, county parks, libraries, and arts organizations; made advances in public health; and supported innovative programs to reduce poverty, among many other achievements. Mark also led the Erie County team in securing a new ten-year lease with the Buffalo Bills during his first year as County Executive.
Mark’s Initiatives for a Smart Economy, released in June 2013, and his Initiatives 2.0 version released in June 2017 provide evolving blueprints for comprehensive, innovative economic development across Erie County, with county departments acting either as the lead agency or working with community partners to effect change. Together the two plans encompass over 130 target areas for economic development, with the first Initiatives mostly complete and the second well underway.
Mark’s leadership has brought new life to the long-dormant Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna, has reinforced pay equity between genders as the rule in Erie County, and has created new protections for seniors and veterans. As County Executive, Mark has been at the forefront of protecting and enhancing our unique natural assets and has steadily expanded the amount of acres in our county Parks system, along with working to create a cleaner Lake Erie through improvements in wastewater treatment and the passage of a law banning microbead-containing products in the county. Poloncarz has led the way in the fight against the Opioid Epidemic in Erie County and nationally as a member of the County and City National Opioid Epidemic Task Force.