JAMESTOWN - Chautauqua County Independence Party Chair Thom Shagla announced recently the endorsement of Lori Cornell for the office of Chautauqua County Clerk. In the announcement Shagla stressed the importance of a non-partisan, professional approach to the County Clerk's Office. He also highlighted Cornell's experience and qualifications for the important office.
"A lot of people don't understand the county clerk's office and what it does, and does not do," County Independence Chair Thom Shagla said. "It is not a political office and requires someone who is qualified to lead the office, both in their education and professional experience and non-partisan approach. That's why we independents endorsed Lori Cornell. As a former candidate for this office myself, I can tell you that Lori Cornell is the most qualified, experienced and level headed candidate for the job."
"The county clerk's office is about superior customer service, innovation and providing service at the lowest possible cost," Cornell said. "It's not about Democratic or Republican leadership, it's about strong administrative leadership and who has the qualifications and experience to deliver the optimal service at the lowest possible cost and use ever evolving technology to better serve the public."
As a county legislator, Cornell led the effort to form a non-partisan commission to redraw county legislature districts. The effort led to the formation of an independent commission that produced a non-partisan redistricting proposal. The independent proposal ultimately failed and a partisan plan, referred to by Shagla as the "Barmore Plan", was approved without Cornell's support.
"Lori Cornell's leadership in creating a non-partisan approach to the long time tradition of partisan political gerrymandering shows which of the choices before the voters this fall has the leadership skills and disposition for County Clerk," Shagla added.
Cornell also worked to improve declining housing in the county. She has been a longtime advocate for reducing the size of the county legislature to 15 or less, and has consistently opposed spending and tax increases. Cornell was a candidate for County Clerk eight years ago running on the Independence Party line after winning the primary election. Shagla added that both the downsizing of the county legislature and the non-partisan independent commission for redistricting where initiatives supported by the County Independence Party.