Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter President Brian Sampson today issued a statement in response to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz’s State of the County address:

ABC, Empire State President Brian Sampson’s Statement

"During his State of the County address last evening, County Executive Poloncarz mentioned several times that everyone in the community should benefit from the gains made in the region over the past few years.  It's highly ironic he took this position when many of his construction related policies discriminate against local contractors.

County Executive Poloncarz has repeatedly pushed for a costly and discriminatory practice known as Project Labor Agreements, or PLAs, on local construction. Whether it was his support for the Riverbend Development for Solar City or his recent support for the STEM project at Erie Community College, he has consistently eliminated merit shop contractors and their employees, which make up more than 75% of the construction market, from performing work in the county.  Not only are PLAs bad for construction, they are even worse for taxpayers as they drive up the cost of projects by as much as 30%.

As the leader of the County, it's high time that County Executive Poloncarz stops doing the bidding of his donors and do what's right for his constituents, the taxpayers.  If he was truly dedicated to making sure that everyone had a chance to benefit from the resurgence in the region, then he would immediately call on the Erie County Legislature to pass the Government Neutrality in Construction Act which would allow contractors to pursue and win publicly funded projects based solely on the merit of their bid."