Chautauqua County Info


Gregory J. Edwards, County Executive

Gerace Office Building, Room 341 
3 North Erie Street, Mayville, New York 14757
Phone: (716) 753-4211, Fax: (716) 753-4756


Chautauqua County Legislature
Gerace Office Building-3 North Erie Street
Mayville, NY 14757-1007

Phone Numbers
North County Toll-Free: (716) 363-4215 , South County Toll Free: (716) 661-7215

Fax Numbers
North County Toll-Free: (716) 363-4539 , South County Toll Free: (716) 661-7539



Ahlstrom, Keith




PO Box 254
Dunkirk, N.Y. 14048





Heenan, Shaun




89 Seel Acres
Dunkirk, NY   14048



Planning and Economic Development

Duff, Robert




2024 Laona Road
Forestville, NY  14062



Public Safety

Borrello, George




12809 Breeze Avenue
Irving, NY  14081





Planning and Economic Development

Park, Jerry




1664 Route 83
Forestville, NY  14062



Audit and Control; Planning and Economic Development

Runkle, John W.




223 Dale Drive
Cassadaga, NY  14718



Public Safety

Beightol, Leon




1512 Waterman Road
Falconer, NY  14733



Public Facilities; Public Safety

Lemon, Ronald




49 North Pearl Street
Frewsburg, NY  14738



Human Services

Barmore, Larry




PO Box 245
Gerry, NY  14740



Administrative Services; Public Facilities

Tarbrake, Mark




3151 Oak Ridge Circle
Jamestown, NY  14701



Planning and Economic Development

James, Victoria R.




809 Lafayette Street
Jamestown, NY  14701



Human Services

Cornell, Lori




20 Dewey Place
Jamestown, NY  14701



Human Services

DeJoy, Paula




219 Barrows Street
Jamestown, NY  14701



Administrative Services

Stutzman, Scot W.




114 Ellis Avenue
Jamestown, NY  14701



Human Services

Kindberg, Maria




33 Pershing Ave
Jamestown, NY  14701



Planning and Economic Development

Nazzaro, Charles




236 Springdale Avenue
Jamestown, NY  14701



Audit and Control; Public Facilities

Babbage, Richard C.




PO Box 398
Bemus Point, NY  14712




Public Facilities

Mueller, Rudy




7 Sunset Avenue
Lakewood, NY  14750




Human Services

Gould, Jay




70 Hoag Road
Ashville, NY  14710



Audit and Control

Croscut, Fred




3375 Waits Corners Road
Sherman, NY  14781



Public Safety

Caflisch, James E.




PO Box 100
928 Marvin Road
Clymer, NY  14724



Administrative Services

Richmond, Doug




27 E. Main Street
Westfield, NY  14787



Public Safety

DeJoe, Thomas




14 Fay Street
Brocton, NY  14716



Audit and Control; Public Facilities

Scudder, Bob




348 W. Main Street
Fredonia, NY 14063



Administrative Services

Gullo, John




221 Central Avenue
Fredonia, NY  14063



Administrative Services; Audit and Control








Note: The 2010 calendar is not published yet but will follow very closely to the 2009 calendar posted here for your reference


The Foundation of our Country- our Constitution- our Traditions- our Values, have been being chipped and chiseled away for some time. Never has this been truer than it is today as we now have a group of people in Washington; once called public servants - too many are now nothing more than ruthless career oriented political hacks; and they have replaced their chisels with jack-hammers, and they are working at a fever pitch.

Our Security, our Freedoms and Liberties, our RIGHTS (given by God not men); personal, property, and financial; are compromised and eroding like never before. Many a citizen has long since worried about this slippery slope, but this is no longer. Today this worry has become a revelation that America is coming down the mountain, speeding and out of control. “We are no longer a Nation of Just Law, but rather a Nation of Unjust Men”

WE MUST ACT NOW. Stopping this rapid slide toward despotism will be a monumental task that can only be achieved by ”We the People”, our vigilance, and our resolve - to preserve our Nation.

This Health Care bill just passed by the House amounts to nothing less than TYRANNY and we must STOP IT !

  • This Unconstitutional legislation tyrannically establishes fines and even prison sentences for non-compliance thereby forcing you to buy insurance or else. * Section 7203 Misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.* Section 7201 Felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years. That anyone should face prison for not buying health insurance is simply incredible. Don’t ever forget all those that were against this before they were for it. (one big lie with several more to follow)     And how much will the stay-out-of-jail insurance cost? The joint committee noted that “according to a recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, the lowest-cost family non-group plan under HR 3862 (the Obama-Pelosi bill) would cost $15,000 by 2016.” Remember, the bill provides only subsidies to help pay this enormous sum after families making about $45,000 have paid 8 percent of their income for insurance and after those earning a household income of about $65,000 have kicked in 12 percent. 
  • The tough penalties in the House bill are designed to keep insurance companies from opposing the bill. This is because insurance companies will see their coffers swell when tens of millions of new customers are required to buy insurance. The more draconian the penalties for failing to pay them large sums of money to pad their bottom lines, the better. After all it will still be years before the public option takes over enough to fully nationalize the insurance industry, so for now the money is quite appealing.
  • This bill will insert an unprecedented level of bureaucracy between your family and your medical care, and you and your children, and all in some very scary ways. One of the many ways this is true is with respect to how this bill continues to threaten the future of “quality of care”.
  • This monstrosity was bad enough when it was 1500 pages and now it’s even worse as a 2032 page expedited disaster in waiting. In addition, “we will pass this without you” as dictated to the GOP, well that doesn’t sound like the inclusive bi-partisanship promised. This is consistent with the fact that over 200 GOP Amendments have all been shot down, many of them not even debated, and many of them would have substantially simplified this abomination.
  • One Amendment that was shot down, and more than once, was to force Government officials to be subject to the same insurance coverage and clauses, which they are forcing on the American people, but nope, they’ve exempted themselves and their families.
  • Promises continually have been broken with respect to transparency and Pelosi’s direct promise to post the final bill online for 72 hours.
  • We have constantly been told that Abortions will not be covered yet it has been a major fight to pass the Stupac Amendment which simply guarantees that said promise is kept. Now some in the Senate are threatening to strip this Amendment.
  • Then there’s illegal immigration and yes the fact that Joe Wilson was right. Though we are still told that they will not be covered and it may vaguely seem so on the surface, there is no specific language preventing it and a number of loopholes for the exact opposite to happen. Illegals will simply gain coverage or benefits through the back door instead of the front, or be amnestied.
  • This bill is anything but deficit neutral with far reaching fiscal implications. This bill is a job killer, with further degrade an already suffering economy overall, will tax the middle class who were promised otherwise, and will be a bane to the States. Once this crushes the states it will deliver the final blow to you the citizen as it will trickle down to crush your County and City as well.
  • The bill still lacks necessary tort reform thereby protecting trial lawyers (a major lobby for the Democrats) and out-of-control lawsuits. (see the WSJ article below to understand how and why)
  • This bill is going to strip Billions of dollars from Medicare affecting seniors all across our Country, only to expand Medicaid and therefore even further expand entitlements and the mentality associated therewith. This bill continues to threaten the quality of care along with the fiscal implications, for our seniors !
  • This bill is a big payoff to Big Labor who put Obama in office and keeps their tentacles wrapped around many other as well. Consider, who has visited the White House the most according to the records released so far ? Andy Stern, head of the SEIU. He says his first priority is to get the healthcare bill passed. That’s because this bill will take the burden of the massive benefits unions promised workers, and dump it on the federal government, and in turn you and I. This will in turn sweeten Union bosses and their organizations already over sweetened pots.
  • This bill is also a payoff, or more to the point a bribe, as follows: The AMA was facing a 21 percent cut in physicians’ reimbursements under the current law. Obama promised to kill the cut if they backed his bill and in a typically slick fiscally irresponsible way the costs associated with this are not budgeted in. A 10-year limit of $80 billion on cuts in prescription drug costs bribed the drug industry. They also got administration assurances that it will continue to bar lower-cost Canadian drugs from coming into the U.S. Seniors pay close attention to this next one – AARP one of the main suppliers of Medi-gap insurance, high-cost privately purchased coverage that picks up where Medicare leaves off. President Bush passed the Medicare Advantage program, which offered a subsidized lower-cost alternative to Medi-gap. More than 10 million seniors went with Medicare Advantage, cutting into AARP Medi-gap revenues.  Presto! Obama solved their problem. He eliminates subsidies for Medicare Advantage. The elderly will have to pay more for coverage under Medigap, but the AARP – which supposedly represents them – will make more money.
  • One has to wonder what bribes were offered to House democrats when Obama met with them on the day of the vote, specifically 36 of them who bent to Obama-Pelosi’s will and voted for this, after previously expressing opposition publicly and to their constituents.
  • The more you study this bill, the worse it gets !
  • The next step in this fight is the Senate, and reports from a few days ago… claiming that government-run health care wouldn’t be voted on until next year… were premature and erroneous . According to the New York Times, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moved to put Pelosi-Care on the Senate floor next week. In fact, Reid filed a motion to introduce his version of the same on Monday which means the Senate debate will begin on Tuesday. The will of the American people be damned…The extreme liberals in Congress plan to ram their so-called “reform” down our throats with all deliberate speed… They think the American people are tired, that the vote in the House took the wind out of our sails. They’re scheming behind closed doors… making deals… twisting arms… thinking they can do the same thing in the Senate that they did in the House. They think that if they move quickly, they can get away with it. They continue to underestimate your resolve against government-run health care.
  • This must be stopped right here and right now.

We Can’t Sit Back and Allow the Loss of Our Freedoms” “The Constitution gives the Feds zero authority” - Judge Andrew Napolitano, Political Analyst, Constitutional Scholar, and Libertarian

“You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation…        You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.” 

 “[I]f the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.” –Candidus, Boston Gazette, 1772


Just The Facts. . .

Kenneth Adams, President and CEO The Business

Council of New York State, Inc. recently

announced that New York has lost 195,000 private

sector jobs in the last year.

Adams stated, “The New York State Department

of Labor reported that New York lost 2,500 privatesector

jobs last November. This marked 14 of the

past 15 months where the private sector job count


To reverse this trend in 2010, Adams said that

Albany leaders must ease the tax burden on our

economy and let employers create new jobs. “The

private sector is suffocating under the crushing burden

of taxes and a political climate that is hostile to

job-creation. The Empire State has become the

empire of unemployment.”

Continuing a pattern that has held since the beginning

of this downturn, only the taxpayer-supported

educational and health services sectors saw an

increase in jobs of 2.5 percent for the year.

“To create new jobs and economic opportunity for

all New Yorkers, government leaders must commit

to lowering spending and easing the tax burden as

they work to balance the budget,” concluded Adams.

Dec 27, 2009

Just The Facts…

Tax Freedom Day Arrives

April 25 In New York

Tax Freedom Day is the day when Americans

finally have earned enough money to pay off their

total tax bill for the year. In 2009, New York taxpayers

had to work until April 25, ranking it 3rd highest

(worst) in the nation, 12 days after the national

Tax Freedom Day (April 13). The Tax Freedom

Days of neighboring states are; Pennsylvania,

April 14 (ranked 11th), New Jersey, April 29

(ranked 2nd), Connecticut, April 30 (ranked 1st)

and Vermont, April 12 (ranked 19th).

Federal Tax Burdens: New

York Is A Donor State

New York taxpayers receive less federal funding

per dollar of federal taxes paid than the average

state. Per dollar of Federal tax collected in 2005,

New York citizens received approximately $0.79 in

the way of federal spending. This ranks the state

42nd lowest nationally and represents a decline

from 1995, when New York received $0.87 per dollar

of taxes in federal spending (ranked 40th nationally).

Neighboring states and the amount of federal

spending received per dollar of federal taxes collected

were: Pennsylvania ($1.07), New Jersey ($0.61),

Connecticut ($0.66), and Vermont ($1.08). (Source:

The Tax Foundation)

Nov 22, 2009


Unshackle Upstate urged the upstate Senate

Majority, who have banded together to oppose cuts

that will disproportionately impact Upstate, to not

side with downstate colleagues as they consider

roughly $1 billion in new health insurance tax


The legislature already increased taxes on health

insurance by more than $730 million this year. Not

only will another increase make health insurance

unaffordable for many New Yorkers, it will put yet

another onerous tax burden on employers.

The Chamber encourages business and community

leaders and all tax payers to take action now by calling

your local, state and federal leaders to drive the change

necessary to create a viable and sustainable region.


Nov. 15, 2009

Unshackle Upstate NY recently listed its recommended

cuts to the 2009-10 NY budget which

includes immediate cuts of 3 percent in state operations,

which it suggests not be passed on to local

governments or shifted to federal stimulus dollars.

That alone, the group states, would save an extra 2.2

billion dollars. For more information on Unshackle

Upstate New York’s budget recommendations, go to

Nov 8, 2009

New York continues to have the highest tax burden

in the nation, a burden that drives away businesses,
jobs and people. In 2005, New York had
the highest state and local taxes per capita among
the states, at $5,752. That’s one and half times as
high as the figure for the entire nation. Looking at
state and local taxes as a portion of all income

earned in the state, New York ranks third in the

nation. Taxes will consume 13.8 percent of total

income in New York, less than only Vermont

(14.1%) and Maine (14%), according to Tax Foundation

projections for 2007.

State government should make New York a more

affordable place to live, especially for our young

people starting lives and careers. Specifically, New

York should: Increase the standard deduction from

$7,500 to $10,000 for young people 18 to 25 who

are making their start in life and adopt the federal

policy of allowing residents who are paying back

student loans to deduct the interest from their taxable

income, thereby reducing their tax liability.


Source: Unshackle Upstate New York)The Chamber encourages business, community
leaders and tax payers to call their local, state, and
federal leaders today to drive the change necessary
to create a viable and sustainable region.
Nov 1, 2009



 the states in health system performance.
¯ Recently the Tax Foundation ranked New York
second on per capita government spending.
¯ According to the Citizens Budget Commission,
Medicaid spending is expected to grow by 36 percent
over the next three years.
¯ Although New York’s spending tops the chart,
its quality of care does not; a 2009 Commonwealth
Fund scorecard ranked New York State 21st among


¯ New York now spends 65 percent more than

the national average per pupil. According to the

Center for Applied Economic Research more than a

third of all other states schools outperform New

York’s, while New York spends the most of any

state per student.

¯ The most critical factor that makes living and

working in New York State burdensome, are the

property taxes. New York’s local taxes are the highest

in the nation, at 79 percent above the national

average, with school taxes accounting for the

largest portion of it. Source: Unshackle Upstate

New York.

The Chamber encourages business, community

leaders and tax payers to call their local, state, and

federal leaders today to drive the change necessary

to create a viable and sustainable region.

Oct 4,2009

Just The Facts…

The Public Policy Institute of NYS ranks New
York 48th out of the 50 states with the highest business
costs. Massachusetts and California were the
only other states with a higher business cost rating.
Sept 27,2009
Just the Facts — Why we must take action now! In this feature the Chamber will highlight the data that is telling us we need sweeping reform in New York State. Business leaders, community leaders and all tax payers need to take action now if we are going to drive the change necessary to create a viable and sustainable region. The Public Policy Institute (PPI) and Tax Foundation ranked New York State Business Tax Climate Index for 2009 as follows: ¯ Overall Rank – 49 ¯ Corporate Tax Rank – 22 ¯ Individual Income Tax Rank – 43 ¯ Sales Tax Rank – 49 ¯ Unemployment Insurance Tax Rank – 44 ¯ Property Tax Rank – 45 To understand this ranking, a ranking of one indicates the most business-friendly tax climate while a higher number ranking indicates a less business-friendly tax climate. Source: Business Council of New York State, The Tax Foundation

Sept 13,2009JUST THE FACTS – WHY WE MUST TAKE ACTION NOW! In this feature the Chamber will highlight the data that is telling us we need sweeping reform in New York State. Business leaders, community leaders and all tax payers need to take action now if we are going to drive the change necessary to create a viable and sustainable region. The Public Policy Institute (PPI) Analysis of Census Bureau State and Local Government Finances ranked New York State number one in: ¯ Highest in state and local taxes per capita at $6,405; ¯ Highest in local taxes per capita and state taxes per capita at $3,432; ¯ Highest in state and local income tax at $2,000; and ¯ Highest in state and local per-capita welfare spending at $2,236. PPI also ranked New York third in state and local debt per capital; sixth among state and local government employee number and wage; and ninth in state and local employee average contribution and annual benefit amount with $25,194. Source: The Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc.


Sept 6,2009

Just the Facts — Why we must take action now! In this feature the Chamber will highlight the data that is telling us we need sweeping reform in New York State. Business leaders, community leaders and all tax payers need to take action now if we are going to drive the change necessary to create a viable and sustainable region. The Cost of 10,521 Governments to Taxpayers – What does the duplication and overlapping taxing entities mean to taxpayers? New York state has the highest local property burden in the country. $73 per every $1,000 of personal income is paid by individuals for local taxes. That is $30.00 over the national average! New York’s forms of general purpose government – counties, cities, towns, and villages – were devised in the eighteenth century and developed in the nineteenth. But they have not been modified in the twentieth century, despite enormous changes in population size and diversity, economic activity, transportation systems, settlement patterns and communications technology. Instead, the state has added frequently but streamlined rarely. Localities kept their forms, but their functions converged. Where necessary, single-function, special districts and authorities were created to augment existing entities, increasing layering and complexity. The result is not a system, but a maze of overlapping and often competing jurisdictions. Source: New York State Attorney General’s Office.

Aug 30,2009

Just the facts: why we must take action now Look for Just the Facts every weekend in the Chamber Corner. In this feature the Chamber will highlight the data that is telling us we need sweeping reform in New York State. Business leaders, community leaders and all tax payers need to take action now if we are going to drive the change necessary to create a viable and sustainable region. The Facts – Numerous taxing layers crush New Yorkers: ¯ Counties – 57 ¯ Cities – 62 ¯ Towns – 932 ¯ Villages – 556 ¯ School Districts/BOCES – 996 ¯ Authorities – 991 ¯ Special Districts – over 6,927


¯ New York State has the highest local property burden in the country! ¯ $73 per every $1,000 of personal income is paid by individuals for local taxes. That is $30 over the national average! (Source: New York State, Office of the Attorney General)

Search site

Board of Elections

Chautauqua County Board of Elections

Hall Clothier Building

7 North Erie St.

Mayville, NY   14757 


Brian Abram, Republican Commissioner 

Republican Commissioner: (716) 753-4226

Norm Green, Democratic Commissioner

Democratic Commissioner: (716) 753-4250


 FOR THE NYS 2009 POLITICAL CALENDAR (2010 not published yet) SCROLL DOWN TO THE RIGHT, OR Download the PDF here:



NYS Board of Elections


NYS Campaign Finance Disclosure Reports & research

Query the Database

Data Availability

This database contains all financial disclosure statements filed with the Board from July of 1999 to the present.



Proposed Regulations


Legislative Agendas

Part 6201 - Fair Campaign Code (pdf 169KB)

Part 6208 - Reapportionment Compliance Act (pdf 53KB)


General Information on Petitioning




Jan Potter, Chautauqua County Chairwoman 22 W 18th St, Jamestown (716) 664-9550


Republican Party

Chairman: John Walker 2827 Whitaker RD PO Box 252 Fredonia, NY 14063 (716) 410-2827



Dunkirk Republican Committee Chairman Truman Bradley 26 Albany Ave, Dunkirk (716) 366-2166

Jamestown Republican Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon 83 Durant Ave, Jamestown (716) 483-0004



Busti Republican Committee Chairman Randall Holcomb 112 West Fairmount Avenue, Lakewood (716) 763-2913

Carroll Republican Committee Chairman Randy Lewis 14 Mattison St, Frewsburg (716) 484-1010

Charlotte Republican Committee Chairman Teddy Lebaron 7717 Rood Road, Sinclairville (716) 962-8387

Chautauqua Republican Committee Chairman James Kurtz 123 South Erie St, Mayville (716) 753-7734

Cherry Creek Republican Committee Chairwoman Betty Milspaw 669 Southside Avenue, Cherry Creek (716) 296-8928

Clymer Republican Committee Chairman Eugene Adams 1215 Clymer Sherman Rd, Clymer (716) 355-6326

Ellery Republican Committee Chairman David Wesp 4780 Bemis Ellery Rd, Bemus Point (716) 386-4421

Ellicott Republican Committee Chairman Allan Hendrickson 21 Windsor Place, Jamestown (716) 488-7205

Ellington Republican Committee Chairman Robert Carpenter 1074 26th Creek Rd, Kennedy (716) 287-3242

French Creek Republican Committee Chairman Jim Caflisch PO Box 100, Clymer (716) 355-4232

Gerry Republican Committee Chairwoman Cherin Mehs 3527 Salisbury Rd, Jamestown (716) 985-4257

Hanover Republican Committee Chairwoman Marlene Bradigan 1952 Laona Rd, Forestville (716) 965-2501

Harmony Republican Committee Chairman Mark Stow 5703 Route 474, Ashville (716) 782-3045

Kiantone Republican Committee Chairman Jeff Piazza 658 Prosser Hill Rd, Jamestown (716) 484-6491

Mina Republican Committee Chairwoman Halcyon Mueller 10420 Main St, Findley Lake (716) 769-7848

North Harmony Republican Committee Chairwoman Sally Carlson 5208 Stow Ferry RD, Stow (716) 789-3617

Poland Republican Committee Chairwoman Sandra Tompsett 605 Second Street, Kennedy (716) 267-3201

Fredonia-Pomfret Republican Committee Chairman: Dahn S. Bull Vice Chairman: Rodney Pennica Treasurer: Timothy Murphy Secretary: Jessica Snell Email: Website: Address: Fredonia-Pomfret GOP PO Box 435 Fredonia, NY 14063-0435

Portland Republican Committee Chairman Gary Miller 441 Pullman St, Brocton (716) 792-9516

Ripley Republican Committee Chairman Tom Kelly 5242 Johnson Road, Ripley (716) 736-4386

Sherman Republican Committee Chairman Fred Croscut 3375 Waits Corner Rd, Sherman (716) 761-6645

Stockton Republican Committee Chairman Jeffrey Frick PO Box 94, Cassadaga (716) 595-3548

Villenova Republican Committee Chairwoman Yvonne Park 1664 Rte 83, Forestville (716) 988-5052

Westfield Republican Committee Chairman Lou Habig 204 East Main St, Westfield (716) 326-2270


Local Government Consolidation

Definately needed in areas of the county, specifically with regard to unneccesary villages (over 2 dozen) and the need to consolidate School Administrations (18).


for more on this go to:



Local governments face obstacles to reform - burdensome and outdated regulations; bureaucratic red tape; and overlapping layers of government.


Jamestown presents their Budget. (a brazen example of irresponcible, out of control, burdensome government)
Look at these outrageous statistics:
Out of an almost a $32 Million dollar budget, 46.1% is for salaries, 28.8% is for benefits.

Thats a total of 74.9%. (almost $24 million).

We say NO raises for anyone, union or no union, sorry - no offense - but not one dime, not now, not anywhere, and not in the near future.

The area for the most significant spending reductions is in the 75% category not the 25% category.

Unemployment is over 10% and do you realize that is almost entirely comprised of private sector non-union employment !


For more perspective- Government Grows Too Large For Private Sector. PJ Editorial POSTED: September 20, 2009


You'd have to be some sort of economics wonk to remember a graph that then-Congressman Richard Armey, a trained economist, developed a decade ago to look at the relationship between size of government and the health of the private sector economy.

His analysis recognizes that government is an important ingredient of economic development - to a point.

''Where governments did not exist, anarchy reigned and little wealth was accumulated by productive economic activity. After governments took hold, the rule of law and the establishment of private property rights often contributed importantly to the economic development of Western civilization,'' notes a report from the congressional Joint Economic Committee Study of 1998.

However, the study - and the theme of Armey's graph - is that at some point, further expansion of government contributes to economic stagnation and decline.

How do you know when you've reached the point beyond which more government is detrimental?

Seems to us you do not know until you have already passed it. We also hazard the opinion that too much of what government is doing right now propels us ever more quickly there.

Just look at the expansion of government right here in Chautauqua County evident in studies by the state Commerce Department of personal income.

*In 1970, government workers in Chautauqua County earned 14 percent of the total amount of personal income as measured by place of work.

*By 2007, that had grown to 21.6 percent of the total amount of personal income earned in the workplaces of Chautauqua County.

Just last month, the Office of Management and Budget's update shows that this year, the federal government will increase spending 22 percent to a peacetime-record of 26 percent of the gross domestic product.

Oh, and there's that estimate from the Heritage Foundation last spring that around a quarter of a million new federal government workers were needed just to spend all of the massive amount of new money in the Obama administration budget.

Again from our own backyard, we see with more frequency the gap between what private sector workers and what those in government experience. The two worlds are disconnected now to a point that the private sector economy is, as Armey predicted, bowing under the burden of carrying a government that is just too expensive.

Consider news out of Jamestown last week about how the costs of government pension benefits are strangling the private sector - while at the same time, more and more private sector workers in the area are responsible for funding their own retirements. As we reported last week, Jamestown has to come up with an extra $540,000 next year to cover a sharp increase in its mandatory contributions to the state retirement fund.

''This is disastrous news for us and every other municipality in the state,'' says Mayor Sam Teresi. ''This is going to have a suffocating effect on us.''

Can we pull back from having too much government and its detrimental effect on our economy?

Consider the fight some of the part-time elected Chautauqua County legislators put up when faced with demands that they stop getting health care insurance at taxpayer expense. Consider the fight they continue to put up to keep their number at 25 instead of trimming the size of local government.

Now multiply that determination a millionfold and add in the almighty power of public sector unions, and that's the resistance you'll find in Albany and Washington.


Perrysburg sets meeting for dissolution


POSTED: January 22, 2010

PERRYSBURG - The village of Perrysburg has moved one step closer to dissolution.

A public hearing regarding the public referendum for dissolution of the village was set for Thursday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall. The meeting will give residents a chance to ask questions before they decide the future of the village in March. Previous meetings and hearings have not been well attended.

The Center for Governmental Research created a Web site that contains information resulting from the dissolution feasibility study. The website address is

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