1. Do you support downsizing and consolidations of government and school districts?
I support any downsizing or consolidation that would save taxpayer dollars and continue to provide equal or better taxpayer service. Although easier said than done - especially with my school district currently in negotiations regarding a possible merger - the complexity of downsizing and consolidation is disheartening to say the least.
Why? Living in the eighth-highest taxed county - not only in the state of New York but in the entire nation - we need to prove to residents of this county we will do all we can to support our community to allow our citizens to remain and prosper. Our current state of affairs prove things have not been handled correctly. Change must occur and I promise to be a bold leader for change!
If you support downsizing our county legislature, how many members would you propose and how would you accomplish the redistricting of the county? Based on our current population, Chautauqua County should have 15 legislators to represent us. I believe that if our county is going to take this step, we need to be able to offer residents at least $100,000 in annual savings. Legislators make a salary of between $9,000 and $10,000 depending on any additional positions they may hold, such as a ranking member of a committee to minority or majority leader. With a declining population due to - among other reasons - high tax fees and the lack of sustainable employment, fewer legislators are needed. Chautauqua County successfully redistricted in 1991 with bipartisan support. We can do it again with three or five fair-minded individuals working on bi-partisan redistricting decisions to make a new legislature of suitable size to solve our county's twenty first century problems.