New York State Assemblyman Ray Walter today criticized Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz for hiring the most liberal Buffalo city councilman to head up economic development for the county while intentionally disenfranchising voters in the Delaware district.
Poloncarz announced that Michael J. LoCurto, the most liberal member of the Buffalo Common Council, will leave his Delaware district seat at the end of the month to serve as deputy commissioner of the county’s Department of Environment and Planning. This move will follow the county executive's appointment of Maria Whyte, a former county legislator serving as the county’s Environment and Planning commissioner, as deputy county executive.
"Mark Poloncarz is an out-of-step liberal who surrounds himself with community organizers. Soon, the most liberal city councilman will be chief economic development officer and the most liberal county legislator will be our new deputy county executive," said Walter, the Republican candidate for County Executive. "This will be the most left wing administration in Erie County history."
In an underhanded Erie County Democrat machine gambit, LoCurto waited until after the candidate petition deadline to announce his new job and pull out of his reelection to the Common Council. No opponents had filed petitions to run against him; as a result, the Erie County Democratic Party will pick a machine favorite to represent the Delaware district. According to Walter, that shuts out Delaware district voters.
"This is a dirty, secretive and intentional way to disenfranchise voters in Delaware district," Walter said. "By waiting to appoint LoCurto, the Democrat machine gets to appoint an insider to a full four year term with no opposition. Voters are completely left out of the equation - more Poloncarz cronyism."
"Mark Poloncarz is completely out of sync with the people of Erie County. This administration would be more comfortable working with Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City liberals than the hardworking men and women of a Erie County," Walter said. "In a Walter administration we will have proven economic development experts not community organizers in key county positions."