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What does the county executive's staff do when a union vote fails? A revision

Back in July, when County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz reached a tentative agreement with county government's largest union, confidence exuded from the 16th floor of the Rath Building.

He wasn't taking interviews on the subject, but a news released issued by his office on July 23 included this quote: “In my first 7 months, I have done what the previous two administrations could not accomplish over the last 5 years--reaching a fair agreement with the County’s largest employee union,” Poloncarz said in a written statement released by his office.

The statement was a leap.

Former County Executive Chris Collins had also reached a tentative contract in 2010 with the union. That proposal was voted down by the CSEA's membership.

The same thing happened last week when CSEA members rejected the latest proposal negotiated by Poloncarz.

Poloncarz did not make himself available to discuss the vote with The News on Thursday, but his office did issue another written statement.


Staff in his office also quietly went back and revised the original statement sent out to news outlets on July 23. The quote claiming Poloncarz had done "what the previous two administrations could not accomplish over the last 5 years" has been deleted.

The sentence now reads: "Today, I believe we have reached a fair agreement with the County’s largest employee union,” said Poloncarz.

Why the change? Peter Anderson, a spokesman for Poloncarz, said the county executive's director of policy and communications "thought that first sentence was presumptive being that it was a tentative agreement."

-- Denise Jewell Gee


Erie County executive | Mark C. Poloncarz
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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

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Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

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