People’s column

County losing a good sheriff


Several weeks have passed since the voters of Chautauqua County cast their ballots in the 2018 mid-term election, which included who our next sheriff would be in this county.

I was a volunteer for Sheriff Joe Gerace’s campaign and came to know Joe not only as a dedicated sheriff, but as a friend. It was truly an experience of a lifetime. As a member of “Team Gerace,” I want to thank OBSERVER their endorsement of the outgoing sheriff.

As most voters know or should know, Sheriff Gerace was responsible for many excellent programs during his proven leadership of 24 years as our sheriff.

Among the several programs were Starflight, a proven lifesaver at zero cost to taxpayers; EMT deputy training for emergency response when time really counts; Smart 911 connecting your personal data to the 911 system and the Children’s Safety Village which trains children and youth in real-life situations. The village concept was brought to our county from Canada by Sheriff Gerace.

Under Sheriff Gerace accreditation awards were received for law enforcement, 911 center, jail division, civil division and court security. Only six of 59 state agencies have received this significant recognition.

There was nothing in Sheriff Gerace’s leadership that was Democrat or Republican and the awards received during his tenure were bipartisan. Sheriff Gerace was a true public servant for the public good and safety for all citizens of Chautauqua County.

It is a shame when party lines can actually become a detriment in deciding who should be our sheriff or in this case who should continue to be our sheriff.

Many, like myself, feel a huge mistake was expressed by a majority of voters on Nov. 6 by not re-electing a sheriff who truly earned and deserved our respect. Chautauqua County failed to re-elect a great sheriff through our unfortunate partisan divide.

From those of us who voted for you we sincerely thank you for your dedication and for your service as sheriff of Chautauqua County.



Paying penalty in Pomfret


I see Pomfret town Supervisor Don Steger continues to take care of himself, his friends, and most of the town trustees that live within the village of Fredonia.

I see with the suggested tax increase, the town residents that live outside the village will be paying well over double the tax rate of the town residents that reside in the village.

To this day I have never heard Mr. Steger give a valid reason why he treats the towns people who reside outside the village as second-class citizens and his personal piggy bank.

I have an idea. Why doesn’t Mr. Steger put the slight tax increase to the town residents who live in the village of Fredonia, so the people outside the village will only be paying about double the tax rate of town residents that reside in the village.

I hope the people who live outside the village of Fredonia will remember Mr. Steger’s continued bias toward them the next time he is up for election.



Family thankful for contributions


To everyone who attended and/or contributed to the recent benefit for Billy Ott, right. Your support and generosity is appreciated more than you will ever know. There was an overwhelming outpouring of things donated, and volunteers. We wish that we could list them all individually, but you know who you are and that you are deeply appreciated.

We are so thankful for the community coming together to support Billy.