MAYVILLE – There’s going to be some noticeable changes when the Chautauqua County Legislature holds its first regular voting session of the new year tonight in Mayville.
Among the most noticeable change will be the number of legislators at the meeting. Due to the downsizing of the legislature, there will now only be 19 representatives on the panel, compared to the 25 that had been on the legislature since it was first created nearly four decades ago.
Also, the GOP will have a firm grip on the panel, with a super-majority of the members being members of the Republican Party. There will also be several new faces on the panel, including Jamestown Democrat Fred Larson, Jamestown Republican Dave Wilfong, Ellicott Republican Lisa Vanstrom and Frewsburg Republican Ron Lemon. In all, there will be seven new members on the panel.
Although the size and make up of the legislature has changed, one thing will remain the same. Ashville Republican Jay Gould will continue to serve as legislature chairman, presiding over all meetings for the next two years.
Among the items to be taken up tonight is a politically-motivated resolution, denying the state permission to use the seal of Chautauqua County for purposes related to the New York SAFE Act – a controversial gun control measure that has been met with opposition here in Chautauqua County and throughout much of upstate New York. The full text is of the resolution is as follows:
RES. NO. 20-14: Denying the State of New York Permission to Use the Name and Seal of the County of Chautauqua and County Officers for Purposes Related to the SAFE Act
By Public Safety Committee:
At the Request of County Legislators Runkle, Borrello, Scudder, Gould, Tarbrake, Vanstrom, Lemon, Wilfong, Wendel, and Niebel:
WHEREAS, the State of New York has passed a gun control law referred to as the SAFE Act; and
WHEREAS, the SAFE Act clearly indicates that the enforcement of this law is the responsibility of New York State; and
WHEREAS, the State has indicated an interest in using the Seal of the County of Chautauqua and the names of the offices of the Chautauqua County Sheriff and the Chautauqua County Clerk in pistol permit recertification notices; and
WHEREAS, the Chautauqua County Sheriff and Chautauqua County Clerk have voiced their strong objection to the State’s use of the County Seal or reference to their offices; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Chautauqua County Legislature denies the State of New York permission to use the name, seal, letterhead, or address of the County or of any County officer regarding permit recertification or for any other purpose associated with the SAFE Act, and be it further
RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution should be transmitted to the office of the Governor of New York State, the Superintendent of State Police, New York State Senator Catharine Young, New York State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, the New York State Association of Counties, and the legislative body of every county in the State of New York.
Signed: Wendel, Niebel, Keefe, Ahlstrom, Tarbrake
In addition to the SAFE Act resolution, the legislature will also act on several reappointments, including the reappoinment of Jamestown Attorney Ned Barone to serve as Public Defender for both 2014 and 2015, with a salary of $75,000 per year.
Tonight’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the legislative chambers and will be open to the public.
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