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ENDORSEMENT Final choices for Legislature

The OBSERVER's view

There are more Chautauqua County legislators who are running unopposed than those who are being challenged. That’s a major problem for Mayville — and a reason why issues facing the future of county government are going unquestioned.

That ultimately leads to tax increases, similar to what we saw one week ago. Mark Odell in District 7 and John Hemmer in District 19 are running unopposed.

¯ DISTRICT FIVE — If there is an opinion to be heard, residents and constituents in this district have been consistently served well by incumbent Legislator Terry Niebel. When the county was considering selling the Chautauqua County Home five years ago, Niebel spoke up. Last week, during the county tax increase vote, he voiced reservations and later voted against the budget. Jeffery Sayers, who is endorsed by the Democrats, is to be commended for putting up a fight and offering voters a choice, but Niebel has our backing.

¯ DISTRICT SIX — Former Silver Creek trustee Tom Harmon did a solid job representing residents during his term on the Village Board. And when he served, it was not an easy time. Harmon was there in the aftermath of the major flooding, which brought poor decisions from previous officials — spending money they did not have. Incumbent Kevin O’Connell served town residents well on the Hanover board and seems to have fallen into the Legislature trap after only two years: sitting silent while approving resolutions. We will give him credit for his attendance at meetings regarding turbines in Lake Erie. Both candidates are very capable and will serve their constituents well. We give a narrow nod to O’Connell.

¯ DISTRICT 18 — Martin Proctor, to get on the ballot, has created his own party — the Cornerstone Party — in an attempt to keep his position that he was appointed to after the death of Legislator David Himelein earlier this year. On the basis of his vote to not raise taxes last week, we believe he deserves another two years. Challenger Bill Ward, however, does have a distinct advantage. He is endorsed by the Democratic, Republican, Independence, Working Families and Libertarian parties. That could be tough to beat.

Agree or disagree?

The OBSERVER encourages letters to the editor regarding local and state races. Letters regarding the election are still being accepted, but are not guaranteed publication due to the already heavy volume. We will be publishing letters regarding the election through the Nov. 2-3 edition. Any questions can be directed to jdagostino@observertoday.com or 366-3000, ext. 401.

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