COUNTY LEGISLATURE HOSTS TWO PUBLIC HEARINGS TODAY
Since getting County Executive Greg Edwards proposed budget in late September, lawmakers have been meeting in committee to look for ways to reduce the proposed 12.6 percent property tax increase. So far, the legislature’s audit and control committee has made 11 revisions to the executive’s budget trimming the tax increase to 5.66 percent.
Tonight, lawmakers will continue to discuss the budget. They could also make additional changes to the spending plan in an effort to get the sales tax increase below the 2 percent sales tax. Legislator Chuck Nazzaro of Jamestown, who sits on the Audit and Control Committee, said last week that cutting the budget an further is going to be difficult.
If the legislature is unable to find any additional changes, it would need a 60-percent majority – or at least 15 votes – to approve a budget that includes a tax cap higher than 2 percent.
County residents will also have an opportunity to comment on the 2012 budget during two public hearings today. One is at 2 p.m. and the other is at 6:30 p.m. Both will take place in the legislative chambers in Mayville.
Following today’s 2 p.m. hearing, the legislature will meet to act on its regular monthly business, which includes two proposals to reduce various legislative stipends and salaries. Following tonight’s 6:30 p.m. meeting, lawmakers will discuss and possibly act on the 2012 budget… although they panel can wait if need be. The legislature has until Nov. 10 to pass the spending plan.
SCHUMER ANNOUNCES S.E.C.T.O.R.S. LEGISLATION
JAMESTOWN – Senator Charles Schumer was in Jamestown yesterday to announce his support for legislation the he says would bridge the gap between workers and employers. During a stop at TitanX, Schumer provided details of the bill, entitled The Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success Act of 2011– also called the “SECTORS Act.” He said the purpose of the bill is to create a federal grant program to help Western New York schools and workforce training agencies produce students with the necessary skills to find jobs at growing manufacturing companies in the area.
Schumer picked Jamestown to discuss the bill, saying Chautauqua County has a thriving manufacturing industry, pointing to companies like TitanX, TruckLite and Cummins Engine.
YOUNG, GOODELL RECOGNIZED BY NY FARM BUREAU
ALBANY – The New York Farm Bureau recently named Senator Cathy Young (R,C,I-Orleans) and Assemblyman Andy Goodell (R,C-Chautauqua) to its annual “Circle of Friends” list. This prestigious legislative award is granted based upon their record of legislative support for New York agriculture and the Farm Bureau. New York Farm Bureau is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse elected officials or political candidates. Assemblyman Goodell expressed his appreciation to the Bureau, noting that Agriculture is extremely important to the area and accounts for over $250 million in economic activity in Chautauqua County. Chautauqua County ranks first in New York state for the number of active farms, and fifth in the state for the number of acres in production.
COUNTY FLU CLINICS BEGIN NOV. 2
The County Health Department is announcing it will start offering seasonal flu shots to area residents starting next week on Wednesday, November 2nd. According to county public health director Christine Schuyler, all individuals 6 months and older should be vaccinated. The vaccine being used this year will protect against three strains of influenza.
The cost of the influenza vaccine will be $35. Select insurance companies will be billed, with co-payments due at the time of service, when applicable. Low-cost or no-cost vaccinations are available to individuals without health insurance.
Pneumococcal and Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap) will also be offered during the walk-in clinics. Pneumococcal pneumonia is one of the most common causes of bacterial pneumonia and is recommended for individuals with select underlying health conditions or individuals 19 and older who smoke cigarettes.
Clinics will take place at the Dunkirk Health Department on November 2 and 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. In addition, they will be held at the Jamestown Health Department on November 3 from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m., and on November 10 from 1 to 4 p.m.
A clinic will also take place at the Mayville Health Department on November 17 from 1 to 4 p.m.
For more information, contact the Chautauqua County Department of Health at 1-866-604-6789.