OBSERVER Staff Report
A community forum is planned for February to hear the opinions and comments of area residents regarding the future of our municipal governments.
At 7 p.m. Feb. 5 in the Fredonia Opera House, a number of local officials as well as Stan Lundine and Kevin Gaughan will be discussing what steps our governments must take to be more cost efficient in the future.
Lundine, a former lieutenant governor and Chautauqua County resident, was the chair of the state Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness.
Gaughan is an advocate for regional government and has called for the reduction of elected officials in towns and villages in Erie County.
"This is an excellent opportunity for residents to voice their concerns about our current systems of government," said John D'Agostino, OBSERVER publisher. "The Fredonia and Brocton school districts held community meetings last year and the overwhelming sentiment was for a merger study that is currently in the works."
Who: Stan Lundine, Kevin Gaughan and various local
What: Community Forum
When: Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.
Where: Fredonia Opera House
Why: To discuss the future of municipal governments
Other participants who are scheduled to attend the forum include: Richard Frey, mayor of Dunkirk; Michael Sullivan, mayor of Fredonia; Pat Christina, Pomfret town board member; Katherine Tampio, Hanover town supervisor; Chuck Cornell, county legislator and director of the SUNY Fredonia Center for Rural Regional Development and Governance; David Carr, village of Westfield mayor and Nick Norton, town of Arkwright supervisor.
"Of course all elected officials and community leaders are invited," D'Agostino said. "We are hoping for an excellent turnout at the Opera House."
Officials or residents seeking more information can call D'Agostino at the OBSERVER at 366-3000, ext. 401.
Also participating in the event will be Chautauqua Opportunities Inc. ''The mission of Chautauqua Opportunities Inc. is to alleviate poverty in Chautauqua County," said Roberta Keller, COI executive director. "That includes: assisting those residents living in poverty by providing opportunities toward self sufficiency, working with residents who are economically vulnerable to reach economic security, partnering with the community as a whole to evaluate and ameliorate the causes of poverty and creating opportunities that will promote economic strength and viability for all citizens at all economic levels in the county."
Sponsors for the forum also include the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier, WDOE and the OBSERVER.