Erie County's dynamic duo strikes again

Register
Oct 17, 2013

It's as true for governments as it is for your own family: When income exceeds expenditures you're on the right financial path. 

Erie County commissioners Pat Shenigo and Bill Monaghan have again shown that sound financial planning pays off. Since 2010, the county shaved from the budget enough to build a $3 million budget surplus and the  five-year financial forecast through 2017 shows that trend continuing in a robust way. 
 
Previous county budgets were frequently in the red for years and helped create a debt for county taxpayers of $130 million at its peak. That has been reduced to $99 million since Monaghan and Shenigo teamed up to change how things get done.
 
In addition, they spearheaded a temporary sales tax hike — despite the political risk — that will create $7 million in revenue to address needed infrastructure repairs and upgrades, including substantial repairs to the Erie County courthouse, the sheriff's office and other venues. 
 
Commissioner Tom Ferrell, in his seventh term, was part of all the past commissioner boards that voted expenditures that ballooned the debt, has voted with Monaghan and Shenigo on many of these new initiatives. But he did not spearhead any of them, and he also voted against the temporary tax hike. 
 
Putting the county on a sound financial footing will enable it to make more sound investments in the future at a lower cost. It's the best way we can think of to improve and build on the assets there are in the county create jobs, build community and improve the quality of life. 
 
Give credit where credit is due. Both Monaghan and Shenigo have done what they said they would do when running for office: Treat the county's finances as a business, rather than an unlimited bank account. 
 
Well done, gentleman. 
 
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Comments

mikesee

Congress bound!

deertracker

Be nice if he was also that good at building homes!!!!! What about all those delinquent property taxes?

SamAdams

Uhm, not EXACTLY the glowing recommendation The Register is trying to make it sound like... If expenditures were truly cut, and if the County was serious about living within its means, there would have been NO tax hike, temporary or otherwise.

If anybody out there thinks that's a perfectly legitimate way of doing things, would y'all mind calling my boss and telling him I'd like a "temporary" raise?

Darkhorse

Balancing the budget means hiking the sales tax without representation.

reserved

So, the 4 years that Bill was commissioner prior to Shenigo joining the club?? Those years that he voted with Ferrell are what? Insignificant? Public service is NOT about running a business AND just because you end the year in the black doesn't equate to being a great business. A public entity provides services to residents and local businesses so that a certain quality of life can be obtained. This beautiful surplus was obtained through slashing services and employees over the past 4+ years...this super duo is just plain lucky those slashed services have not resulted in huge messes (i.e., sewer back-ups, collapsed bridges, big time jail issues) because those are the types of things they've NOT included in operating budgets or have told other elected officials, "find it yourself." And, just because these two sit in their high chairs and get what they want, doesn't mean they should be the only ones reaping the SR's praise...a LOT of people have done a LOT of work to get the County into the black - people like the other 13 elected officials all the way down to the lowly worker. Most of the cost-saving ideas that these superstars would like to claim credit for were ideas that were offered by other employees, quickly rejected by the Board, and then, at the ideal time (i.e., right before election time) regurgitated by Pat or Bill as original thoughts. They've just succeeded at being bullies in big chairs...they are not team players and you SR, are disgusting the way you non-stop love on these two.

How bout that

Reserved,......great post and so true. These two have such a disdain for public employees, bullies is a good description. Your statement about public service not being about running a business is also spot on. The two Presidents that came from a strictly business background,Herbert Hoover and George W. Bush, prove that point. I want safe roads,police and fire protection,food and water inspections,public education - and taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civilized society.

VOTENO

Good. Fix the roads.

kURTje

Reserved while I don't know them or you, your statement of cost savings ideas stolen remind me of my friends who work at corporations. That happens frequently there.