LAKEWOOD – The 2013 elections are less than a week away and among those offices that are contested is the seat for the newly drawn District 10 of the Chautauqua County Legislature, which covers the north section of the Town of Busti including the village of Lakewood along with a small southwestern section of the city of Jamestown.
Incumbent PJ Wendel (R, C – Lakewood), who is a school teacher at Falconer, is running for reelection. He is being challenged by Sharon Lisciandro (D, I – Lakewood), who works as a real estate broker.
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During the recent League of Women Voters’ Meet the Candidates form, Wendel said that both the county home and economic development are pressing issues for the county. But he said perhaps the most important issue facing the county is the health of Chautauqua Lake, which he believes needs the county’s full attention.
“What I would like to do is create a comprehensive plan [for Chautauqua Lake],” Wendel explained. “$8.2 billion was just passed by the federal government, of which Chautauqua Lake will be entitled to some of that money to help solve some of the larger problems, such as dredging… Chautauqua Lake is an economic engine for our county. we need to get it back on track and keep it clean and vibrant and healthy.”
Lisciandro, meanwhile, says that her experience as a real estate broker has shown her that the single biggest problem the county is facing is property taxes. If elected, she said she would work toward finding a way to help reduce the tax burden that faces county property owners.
“The number one question that I’m always asked [when showing homes to prospective buyers], ‘Why are your property taxes so high?’ And that’s a real tough question for me to answer,” Lisciandro said. “Our population is shrinking and our tax base is declining, so if I am elected I would like to investigate and work very hard to get property taxes reduced and to encourage growth.”
The race for District 10 is one of the 10 different contested races this year for the Chuatauqua county legislature. A complete look at all races for all voting districts in Chautauqua County can be found online at votechautauqua.com.
WRFA will also continue election coverage this week when we feature both candidates for county executive Thursday night during our Community Matters program, which airs at 6 p.m. on WRFA.