Here are some of the best - and worst - of the week:
HIGGINS VISIT - Come November, Chautauqua County residents will not be able to vote either for or against Brian Higgins as our representative in Congress. That's because the districts are being redrawn, and Higgins' district will no longer include Chautauqua County. With that in mind, we want to thank the Congressman for visiting the Jazz Invitational in Dunkirk. It's hard to say his visit was politically motivated. Instead it appears he visited because he was invited and cares about young people. To that we say thank you for your visit.
FREDONIA BUDGET WORK - We've been critical in the past of Fredonia Mayor Stephen Keefe's budget hikes. Apparently the village trustees see a tax hike as a negative as well. The village board has been working hard to trim the budget. They've eliminated the proposed sewer hike and general property tax hike, leaving only an increase in the water rates. We applaud them for their hard work in this situation.
SHARING THEIR STORY - One year ago, Dakota Jimerson, 19, of Gowanda, fell and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Often, people who are suffering from situations like that, do not want their story told. But on the one-year anniversary, his mother Lisa Reinard, talked about the progress, the ups and downs, and how the family still has hope. Sharing stories like that, although hard, is an encouragement to others who can be facing similar difficult choices.
MERGER MEETING - Please understand, at the OBSERVER, we are in favor of school mergers. There's too many school districts in our county. With that being said, we question Brocton and Westfield discussing merging. That's because these are the two communities that voted down merging in 2009 - Westfield with Ripley and Brocton with Fredonia. Time has passed. Perhaps Fredonia-Brocton and Westfield-Ripley should vote again before they authorize a new study to merge Brocton and Westfield, which will take a long time and cost thousands of dollars for a study. Plus, if these two districts merge, it won't help Ripley or Fredonia. Revisit Fredonia-Brocton and Westfield-Ripley first. Their studies are already done.