Erie County Executive Barry Grossman fielded questions on several topics during a visit to the Journal on Wednesday, including jobs, the economy, and what is appealing about Corry.

This is what he had to say:

• On the economy

Grossman said unemployment is the best indicator of the economic status.

“Until I see those unemployment numbers drop, I’m not convinced we’re in the point of a turnaround,” Grossman said.

One way to help the unemployed is to provide them with public transportation to and from work if needed. Grossman said the southeastern section of the county is underserved by the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority, which currently provides service in Corry one day a week.

“One way to reduce rural poverty is a way to transport persons to a job site,” Grossman said. “Might not we help the whole job market by providing cheap transportation for people to get to work?”

• New jobs

He also is “ecstatic,” he said about 400 to 500 new jobs that will be available at Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Summit Township this summer with the addition of table games.

“Why should the money go someplace else?” Grossman said.

• Property taxes

Grossman also believes that government is relying on a 19th-century tax base and that the state needs to re-examine its method of taxation. He said the current property-tax system is “strangling the citizens.”

“I think property taxes are choking the cities,” Grossman said. “We need to shift taxes from off of property taxes to sales taxes.”

See the Journal's Wednesday, March 31st edition for full story.

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