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The Bus Is In A Ditch

Let us look at Chautauqua County as though it is a big yellow school bus. Driving the bus is the County Executive PJ Wendel and immediately behind him on the bus are his department heads, county legislators, various elected officials in all parts of the county, and in the rear of this bus are you and I, the citizens of Chautauqua County, who have all paid for the ride through our taxes.

The bus is going down a bumpy road, caused by a pandemic, and needs a steady hand to handle the wheel. We expect that the driver is skilled and will get us safely through this crisis. But wait, we now know that the driver is not only incapable of driving the bus but is trying to convince us that the road is not all that bumpy. It is not unreasonable to expect that the bus driver has the skills and abilities to guide us through a crisis? Are we to be concerned that the bus may be out of control and headed for big trouble? We paid for a safe ride and it is becoming quite evident that we are not in safe hands. When normally conservative leaning newspapers, The Post-Journal and Dunkirk OBSERVER, recognize that there is a lack of leadership and perhaps even an attempt to cover up the facts in our fight against COVID-19, should we not be concerned or even outraged?

Leadership is, for the most part, a learned skill. In times of crisis the ability to recognize the challenge and see the opportunities that lie ahead are essential. An inherent ability to lead may come forward when an individual is faced with a challenge. It is evident to me that this is not the case here in Chautauqua County. The rough road has put the bus in the ditch and the driver appears to be under the bus and unwilling to deal with the facts of the situation that we find ourselves in.

How do we get back on the road and forge a successful path to the future? It is called an election. We are about two months from making the most important decisions in the County’s history and for that matter the country. Look at the qualifications and work history of the two men that are running for the position of County Executive, the new bus driver. Do we want to continue down the path we are currently on or is it time for new leadership and a new direction?

The choice will be yours in November. You paid for the ticket to ride the bus. Let us get it out of the ditch and back on the road toward prosperity and peace of mind.

Jim Walton is a Jamestown resident and local businessman. He also currently serves as the city chairman of the Democratic Party in Jamestown.

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