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Poloncarz criticizes water authority for faulty communications

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A political rift has developed between the County Executive's office and the leadership of the Erie County Water Authority. County officials urged that the boil water notice be issued following last week's water main break. Members of the water authority leadership were reluctant to go to that extent. County Executive Mark Poloncarz has become the focal point of criticism by Earl Jann, the Chair of the Authority's Board of Commissioners. Poloncarz states that he wasn't responsible for the boil water notice, though he supported it, and he feels that the Water Authority should have promoted is as well.

"I found it shocking that he was sort of saying, 'Well, we really didn't want to issue a boil water notice even though a quarter of a million people had lost water and we knew our lines were dry.' It became much more political. I thought that they were trying to shift the blame for what truly was their incompetence in getting the information out to the public."

The water main break affected approximately 250,000 people, leaving many homes and businesses, including a fire station, without water for a period of time.

Poloncarz emphasized the point that the County Water Authority is a state agency and that the county has no control over its operation.