Mark P. posted his agenda on his website. Very impressive in my opinion... He's got my vote if it looks like he can pull it off.
Mark Poloncarz's Action Agenda
for the Erie County Comptroller's Office
A 10 Point Plan for Restoring & Ensuring Erie County's Fiscal Future
The Comptroller of Erie County is provided the tools to prevent a fiscal crisis before it happens. But the tools and power won't do any good if the Comptroller refuses to use everything at his or her disposal. As Comptroller I will act in a non-partisan manner to ensure that Erie County's taxpayers are never again asked to foot the bill for the fiscal mismanagement of their elected officials.
As Erie County Comptroller, I pledge to:
Issue a report on the County Executive's proposed budget, in an open forum to the Erie County Legislature and the public, no later than two weeks from the budget's release. I will not report to the Legislature and County Executive by internal memos but directly to the taxpayers of Erie County. I will actively publicize this report and my observations to highlight potential issues, problems, or positive actions. I will work with the Legislature and County Executive to address these findings. If the Legislature and County Executive fail to act or acknowledge the findings, I will aggressively report this to the public. It is possible that if such reports had been issued in the past, combined with an independent analysis of revenues, this entire fiasco might have been prevented.
Confirm through my office's independent review all present and future revenue estimates presented by the County Executive. If the County Executive's budget office provides inaccurate, incomplete or phony revenue projections, I will immediately report this to the Legislature, and if necessary, the public. The Comptroller should have been doing this all along. This action would have demonstrated that Joel Giambra's financial castle was built on nothing but air.
Analyze and report in a timely fashion on all out-year projections as reported by the County Executive, and if the County Executive's budget office refuses to produce such projections, as unfortunately has been recent practice, prepare and report to the public on my office's calculations of out-year projections.
Provide regular reports to the Legislature and the public concerning the County's fiscal standing, such as monthly reviews of expenditures against revenues. Regular budget reviews separate from the County Executive's inaccurate and phony budget monitoring reports will be provided by my office to provide accurate, timely information to County decision makers.
Help restore Erie County's faltering credit rating on Wall Street to the state it was in 1999 when our rating was one of the best in the entire country. I will ensure that we only borrow what we need, and on an annual basis borrow no more amount of debt than we retire. I will warn the County Executive and Legislature against spending more than we can afford, and my office will refuse to authorize or endorse excessive or risky borrowing. This will send a message to the rating agencies that we are serious about getting our financial house in order and that we are aware that the county's "credit card is maxed out."
Continuously audit the finances of Erie County and its related agencies:
Increased auditing will become a standard procedure of my office. Erie County residents can count on my administration to watch over their hard earned tax dollars. Unfortunately regular audits of county government have become a thing of the past. That will change under my leadership.
I will make it a priority to audit all federal and state grants to ensure that they are being used correctly and not as a hidden haven for patronage employees, as they unfortunately have become.
I will audit all of Erie County's independent authorities and agencies which include the sewer districts, the Erie County Water Authority and Erie Community College, to ensure that these agencies are being run as efficiently as possible.
I will also perform annual audits of the Erie County Medical Center. Though it no longer a county owned facility, Erie County is ultimately responsible for the facility's fiscal well being and is still required to provide a significant annual subsidy to the public hospital.
Ensure efficient and effective government by performing annual top to bottom performance and management reviews of all departments in county government. Performance reviews of major departments are standard in the private sector; they will become standard under my administration.
Perform monthly reviews and report on all proposed County Legislature and County Executive appropriations. If the Legislature or Executive seek to spend county funds and I find such spending to be questionable, I will not hesitate to say so. I will also refuse to sign the checks for any legislative or executive appropriation which I deem an inappropriate or reckless use of county funds.
Solicit and utilize different bond underwriters to get the best deal for the county, thereby eliminating the perception of providing special favors to donors, and end all political cronyism. On my watch there will be no more sweetheart deals for friends and associates of the County Executive, Comptroller and Legislature. Gone are the days of granting sweetheart no bid contracts to political donors.
Guarantee that either I or a member of my staff will attend all public sessions and Finance and Management Committee meetings of the Erie County Legislature in order to answer the questions of the members of the Legislature, and if needed, provide an independent assessment of the Executive's budget office statements or assertions. I will not wait to be called by Legislators; my office will be proactive, engaged and available at legislative sessions and committee meetings.
Taken from here: http://poloncarz.com/actionagenda.htm