Erie County Executive-elect Mark C. Poloncarz has appointed Richard M. Tobe to serve as his administration's Deputy County Executive. Tobe has more than 30 years of economic development experience in the public and private sectors as well as academia.
As a candidate, Poloncarz promised to make job creation a top priority of his administration and in September released a plan entitled "Growing Jobs: Creating an Economic Development Strategy that Works for Erie County." As part of that plan, Poloncarz's Deputy County Executive will serve as the point-person responsible for coordinating all of the County's economic development tools and agencies and lead Poloncarz's efforts to aggressively attract business expansion from Canada.
Poloncarz stated, "As I have said, my Deputy County Executive's will focus on job creation and creating a streamlined, sustainable and efficient approach to economic development in Erie County. This position required an individual that not only had a proven track record of successfully navigating the often turbulent local economic development process but who could also help create a better system for tomorrow. Today, I am proud to announce Richard Tobe will serve in that role. It is time that Erie County taxpayers see a return on the investment of their tax dollars into economic development initiatives that show results. Richard's decades of successful and multi-faceted economic development experience in the public and private sectors make him the perfect choice to lead these efforts."
During his 12 years serving the Gorski administration as Commissioner of Environment and Planning, Tobe led the County's successful effort to negotiate a new long-term lease agreement with the Buffalo Bills, and construct the Buffalo Sabres' arena (now First Niagara Center) in downtown Buffalo, while serving as the point-person with New York State and local municipalities on economic development initiatives.
Since then Tobe has served as an adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo's Graduate School of Planning and School of Law, Vice President of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and Commissioner of the City of Buffalo's Department of Economic Development, Permit and Inspection Services.
Tobe said, "I am supremely honored to serve County Executive-elect Poloncarz as the Deputy County Executive. I strongly agree with the County Executive-elect that, for too long, Erie County has been devoid of a cohesive and focused economic development strategy. I know and love this community and I am confident that by working together with local, state and federal economic development agencies and by leveraging our abundance of resources and strategic location we can realize real, sustainable growth."