Borrello sworn in as county executive

New year, new leaders

Submitted photo
Above: County Executive George Borrello was accompanied by his wife, Kelly, as he took his oath of office on Monday. Judge Dave Foley officiated the ceremony.

Submitted photo Above: County Executive George Borrello was accompanied by his wife, Kelly, as he took his oath of office on Monday. Judge Dave Foley officiated the ceremony.

Chautauqua County’s new County Executive braved the blustery cold and snow to be sworn in on the first day of 2018.

Borrello was inaugurated on Monday afternoon by the Hon. Dave Foley. County Clerk Larry Barmore was also sworn in. Borrello stood before friends, colleagues and community members with his wife beside him as he took his oath. About 70 people attended the event, including State Sen. Cathy Young, R-Olean, and representatives from U.S. Rep. Tom Reed’s office. Borrello said he is thankful to the people of Chautauqua County and looks forward to serving them in his new role.

“I am excited about where we are in Chautauqua County,” Borrello said.

Noting the coming National Comedy Center, the Athenex Plant in Dunkirk and the increased development in the county, Borrello said he has great hope for 2018. Yet, it is not just the businesses and attractions that will help the area, he said.

“People are moving back to Chautauqua County,” Borrello said. “It’s an exciting time here in Chautauqua County.”

In the beginning of his administration, he said he wants to “hit the ground running” and start “bringing people to the table” to get things done. Borrello said his “100 Businesses In 100 Days” initiative has already begun as he visited five businesses before he took office.

“That will help me tailor the economic development plans,” Borrello said.

Borrello said he is hearing that jobs are going unfilled and plans to focus on that immediately. He said part of the problem is there is not enough communication between the businesses that are hiring and the people looking for jobs.

Another issue Borrello said he will tackle in the coming weeks is the drug epidemic. He said he will form the Countywide Alliance for Enforcement and Rehabilitation or CAER. The task force will include law enforcement, the district attorney’s office, the Chautauqua County Health Department, Social Services and Mental Hygiene departments, hospitals and drug treatment clinics, peer support groups and advocacy groups. He said the task force will allow the county to maximize resources while making sure efforts are not duplicated.

“We have to get our arms around the drug epidemic,” Borrello said.

Borrello said he doesn’t plan on naming the new director of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency until some time in February. At the moment, he said he is gathering information.

“I’m not going to rush it,” he said.

Borrello said he also has plans to restructure planning and economic development, as well as a few changes to the IDA that come with having a new director.

As the new county executive, Borrello said the idea is to “get things done as quickly as possible.”

“I’m focused,” he said. “I’m going to go at this as hard as I can.”

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