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County Legislature Approves Planning Board, Authorizes Summer Parks Hirings

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – The Erie County Legislature met into the evening hours Thursday after hours of behind the scenes negotiations on two key issues.

Lawmakers voted nine to six to create a county-wide planning board. But sponsors of the bill fell one vote short of the necessary ten votes that would be needed to override an expected veto by County Executive Chris Collins.

Majority Leader Maria Whyte says a planning board would better coordinate development efforts and reduce sprawl. But Collins argues it would add another layer of government bureaucracy.

Lawmakers also authorized the county executive to begin hiring seasonal personnel to staff and maintain city parks this summer under the newly extended parks agreement between the county and city of Buffalo. Legislators were angered that County Attorney Cheryl Green would not provide them with written copies of the extension agreement.