ELECTION DAY 2011 IS TODAY
MAYVILLE – Today is Election Day in Chautauqua County, and while there are many uncontested local races in the area, there is an important proposition on the ballot this year that every voter in the county will have an opportunity to vote on.
Proposition No. 1 will let voters decide whether the County Legislature has no more than 19 members. Currently, there are 25 members on the panel, a number that’s been in place for over 30 years. The proposition will be available on the backside of all paper ballots used in this year’s election.
Polling offices will be open from now until 9 p.m. this evening. For information on specific voting locations or ballots, contact the Chautauqua County Board of Elections or go online to www.votechautauqua.com.
ONLY ONE CONTESTED RACE IN JAMESTOWN
JAMESTOWN – As far as local elections go, it will be a quiet year in Jamestown, with only one contested race on the ballot. That race is for the Ward 4 seat in the Jamestown City Council, where incumbent democrat Vince DeJoy will be squaring off against challenger Dan Johnson – who’s been endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.
Jamestown Republican Party Chairman Brent Sheldon says he’s excited about Johnson running as a candidate.
The rest of the council, as well as Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi, are running unopposed. Sheldon said the GOP tried to find a challenger but was unable to do so. Teresi is seeking a fourth term in the mayor’s office. He was first elected to that position in 1999.
LEGISLATURE HAS EIGHT CONTESTED RACES
MAYVILLE – There are also several uncontested races in the county legislature. In fact, a total of 17 seats only have one candidate, with seven incumbent Democrats and ten Republicans (Eight incumbents) going unchallenged.
Of the uncontested races, two new candidates are going unopposed – Vince Horrigan in Bemus Point and PJ Wendel in Lakewood. Both are running for the Republican party. Horrigan will be replacing longtime Republican legislator Dick Babbage while Wendel will be taking the seat currently held by Democratic Minority Leader Rudy Mueller.
There will be eight contested races for the legislature, leaves a total of eight actual races for the Chautauqua County Legislature.
In the city of Jamestown, the Legislative District 14 race features Timothy Hoyer on the Democratic line. He faces Republican candidate Michael Haddad for the district currently represented by Scott Stutzman, I-Jamestown.
In District 15, Maria Kindberg, D-Jamestown, is vacating her seat – making the race a first-time election for both Bob Whitney and David Wilfong. Whitney holds the Democratic, Conservative and Independence lines. Wilfong will appear on the Republican line on November’s ballot.
In District 10 – which covers part of Busti and West Ellicott, incumbent Republican incumbent Mark Tarbrake is being challenged by Pat Tyler, who holds the Democratic, Conservative, Working Families and Independence Party lines.
Other Local races of note include District 7, which covers the towns of Cherry Creek, Ellington and Poland. There, incumbent Republican candidate Bob Stewart is being challenged by Democrat Tamara Miles.
In District 8 – which covers the towns of Carroll and Kiantone, incumbent Republican candidate Tami Downey is being challenged by Thomas Erlandson, who holds the Democratic, Conservative and Independence Party lines.
The Democrats in the legislature who are running unopposed are Keith Ahlstrom, Dunkirk; Shaun Heenan, Dunkirk; Vickeye James, Jamestown; Lori Cornell, Jamestown; Paula DeJoy, Jamestown; Chuck Nazzaro, Jamestown; and Tom DeJoe, Brocton.
The Republicans who stand to return unopposed are Bob Duff, Sheridan; George Borrello, Irving; John Runkle, Stockton; Larry Barmore, Gerry; Jay Gould, Ashville; Fred Croscut, Sherman; David Himelein, Findley Lake; and Bob Scudder, Fredonia.
EDWARDS WILL NOT VETO ITEMS IN BUDGET
MAYVILLE – In other news, County Executive Greg Edwards announced Monday that he will not veto any part of the legislature’s 2012 budget. County lawmakers passed the spending plan in a 20 to 5 vote last month. Edwards then had 10 calendar days to review the changes made and issue any vetoes. Edwards used his Monday Morning Memo yesterday to announcing his decision, in which he called the final budget passed by the legislature “a mockery of our fiscal management policy.” Edwards explained that he would not be implementing any line item vetoes because the budget was passed overwhelmingly by the legislature and therefore the 20 who supported it last month could override any vetoes.
Next year’s budget will take the county’s property tax rate from $8.90 to 9.22 per thousand dollars of assessed value, an increase of 32 cents. As proposed by the county executive, the 2012 budget initially started with a $1.13 per thousand tax increase, which would have taken the property tax rate to $10.03 per thousand.
POLICE SEEK ROBBERY SUSPECT
FINDLEY LAKE – The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an armed robbery that occurred in Findley Lake early Monday morning. According to police, at 5:22 a.m. a white male subject entered the Holiday Inn Express, 3025 Route 426, in Findley Lake, and demanded money from the front desk. Police say he used a semi-automatic pistol to threaten the desk clerk.
The suspect fled in an unknown direction in a vehicle with an undisclosed amount of money.
The suspect is described as a white male, age 20 to 30, 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall, medium build, weighing about 180 to 190 pounds, with grayish-blue eyes and light freckles over the bridge of his nose.
He was wearing a blue winter jacket, knit hat and a scarf over his face to conceal his identity. The hat and scarf were either red or gray in color.
The Sheriff’s office is encouraging anyone with information on this incident to call the We Tip number at 1-800-78-CRIME (800-782-7463) or the Sheriff’s Office at 753-4925. Callers are eligible for a $1,000 reward if the information leads to the arrest and conviction of the person involved. All calls will remain anonymous.