Over the weekend, we inaugurated a new County Executive, Mark Poloncarz. After four years of being told that government needed to be run like a business, Poloncarz reminded us of government’s true reason for being.
A government isn’t a business, and shouldn’t be run like one. It exists to serve its constituents; its people. It exists exactly to provide services that the private sector cannot – or will not – provide to meet the needs of its people. It exists not to serve a small elite, but those with the least influence.
It represents a complete redirection of what the purpose of government is, and whom it serves. To that end, the first five executive orders Poloncarz signed are:
Executive Order #001—Procurement of Legal Services to Support Buffalo Bills Lease Negotiations:
This order requires the Erie County Attorney to immediate commence a process to procure the services of special counsel to support the upcoming lease negotiations with the Buffalo Bills through the issuance of a Request for Proposals from qualified law firms.
Executive Order #002—Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Task Force:
This order requires the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services, in conjunction with the County Attorney’s Office and the Erie County Comptroller’s Office, to recommend the methods and procedures to create a Medicaid Anti-Fraud Task Force.
As Comptroller, Poloncarz issued a review (6/17/2009) examining Erie County’s anti-fraud initiatives and expressing concern over the County’s lack of progress in recovering funds from providers engaging in fraud.
Executive Order #003—Time and Attendance Monitoring – Use of Swipe Cards:
This order requires every employee of Erie County, including the Deputy County Executive, commissioners, deputy commissioners and other exempt employees to abide by Erie County’s electronic time keeping “swipe card” system policy as stated in the Erie County Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual.
As Comptroller, Poloncarz issued two separate reviews (7/15/2009 and 8/11/2011) of the swipe card system, which noted that prior administrations had exempted commissioners, deputy commissioners and senior staff from adhering to the policy.
Executive Order #004—Equal Employment Opportunity Program Review and Update:
This order requires the Director of the Erie County Equal Employment Opportunity Office to review and update the Erie County Affirmative Action Manual to bring it into compliance with current law and practices. This manual has not been updated since 1981.
Executive Order #005—Review of Use of Outside Counsel by the Erie County Attorney:
This order requires the Erie County Attorney to conduct a study and submit a report on the use of retained counsel by Erie County.