It is not often Chautauqua County plays a major role in a race for governor. But last month when state Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio chose Greg Edwards as his running mate, it made many take notice.
Edwards, who won re-election handily as county executive, has proven himself to be a capable leader for residents here. He is well liked by many business leaders in the county. He makes every effort to attend major county events. He may even be the biggest booster of Chautauqua County we have.
But the 2011 budget crisis will truly test Edwards' mettle. And it is why we wonder whether running with Lazio for the top office in New York is coming at a bad time. Without question, the $18 million budget gap will likely occupy most of the summer and fall for all county officials.
Though it has been talked about for awhile, the only solutions so far have been the early retirement plan being offered and keeping the sales tax at 7.75 percent.
That's not yet enough.
We would rather hear our county executive talk about ways to spend less than tell us about the woes the county is facing from New York state.
Some of those woes, we must mention, have been brought on by local leadership.
Increased pension costs to the state are not due to county workers making less money over the past decade. Medicaid woes have been part of the crisis for years, but in 2005 there was some relief - which likely went toward an escalating payroll.
It gets tiring listening to political excuses. What we would like to hear are some solutions to fix the state and county. Greg Edwards can solidly say that he currently is one of the few who can play a role in both.
We hope he succeeds.