The Government of Erie County, NY: A Comprehensive Guide

A comprehensive guide to understanding the government system in Erie County, NY and the role of the current county clerk, Mickey Kearns.

The Government of Erie County, NY: A Comprehensive Guide

Erie County, NY is a bustling area located in the western part of New York State. With a population of over 900,000 people, it is the most populous county in the state outside of New York City. As such, it is home to a diverse and complex government system that serves the needs of its residents.

The Role of County Government

Before diving into the specifics of government in Erie County, it's important to understand the role of county government in general. County governments are responsible for providing services to their residents, such as law enforcement, public health, and social services.

They also oversee local infrastructure and manage budgets for their respective areas. In New York State, county governments are divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. The executive branch is responsible for implementing policies and managing day-to-day operations. The legislative branch creates laws and approves budgets. The judicial branch interprets laws and resolves disputes.

The Current County Clerk of Erie County

Now that we have a better understanding of county government, let's take a closer look at the current county clerk of Erie County, NY.

The county clerk is an elected official who serves a four-year term and is responsible for maintaining records and providing various services to the public. The current county clerk of Erie County is Mickey Kearns. He was first elected to the position in 2017 and was re-elected in 2021. Kearns has a long history of public service, having previously served as a member of the New York State Assembly and as a Buffalo Common Council member. As county clerk, Kearns oversees several departments, including the Auto Bureau, Records Management, and Real Property Tax Services. The Auto Bureau is responsible for issuing driver's licenses, vehicle registrations, and other related services. Records Management maintains and preserves important county records, such as deeds, mortgages, and court documents.

Real Property Tax Services is responsible for assessing and collecting property taxes. In addition to these departments, the county clerk's office also provides various other services to the public. These include issuing marriage licenses, processing passport applications, and providing notary services. The office also serves as a resource for businesses looking to file important documents, such as DBAs and certificates of incorporation.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Government in Erie County

Like many other areas in the United States, Erie County has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The county government has had to adapt and make changes to continue providing essential services while keeping residents safe. One of the biggest changes has been the shift to virtual services.

The county clerk's office has implemented online services for many of its functions, such as renewing vehicle registrations and requesting copies of records. This has helped reduce in-person interactions and limit the spread of the virus. The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of government services in times of crisis. The county government has worked closely with state and federal agencies to provide resources and support to residents during this difficult time.

The Future of Government in Erie County

As we look towards the future, there are several key issues that will impact government in Erie County. One of the biggest challenges will be managing the county's budget in the wake of the pandemic.

With decreased revenue and increased expenses, county officials will have to make tough decisions to ensure essential services are still provided. Another important issue is addressing social and economic disparities within the county. As one of the most populous counties in New York State, Erie County is home to a diverse population with varying needs. The county government will need to work towards creating more equitable opportunities and resources for all residents.


In conclusion, the government in Erie County, NY plays a crucial role in providing essential services and resources to its residents. The current county clerk, Mickey Kearns, is dedicated to serving the community and ensuring that the county runs smoothly.

As we continue to navigate through the challenges of the pandemic and look towards the future, it's important to recognize the important role that government plays in our daily lives.

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