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Pandemic, Lake Among Topics Of State Of County Address

Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel is ready to take on 2021 and share with residents his goals for the new year.

On Feb. 24, Wendel will be giving his State of the County address at 6:30 p.m. during the monthly Chautauqua County Legislature meeting.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we look at many services across Chautauqua County,” he said in a news release Tuesday. “My State of the County address will focus on the impacts COVID-19 has had on county government operations, and our economy and residents.”

“It will also highlight my priority initiatives as by working together, we can move forward and build back stronger than ever after COVID-19.”

During a phone interview, Wendel further discussed his upcoming speech. “2020 was a unique time with the pandemic. It affected everything, including here in Chautauqua County,” he said. “We’re not out of the woods yet … but we’re going to take what we’ve learned and put it into a plan that’s going to make us much stronger.”

While much of this past year and 2021 so far is being dominated by the pandemic, Wendel said there are other topics he will be addressing as well.

One of the things he will be discussing is creating cabinets to address things like Chautauqua Lake and the Jamestown airport, to help address concerns of stakeholders and strengthen county operations. Wendel also wants to make sure federal aid brought to Chautauqua County is used effectively and responsibly, to maximize tax dollars.

Because of the pandemic, Wendel’s address will be given virtually. It will streamed on the Chautauqua County government’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ChautauquaCountyGovernment/ .

This is the first time Wendel will give a State of the County address. Wendel was appointed to the county executive post in January 2020, after former County Executive George Borrello was elected state senator. After being appointed in January, Wendel was elected to the position in November and officially sworn in to the position in January.

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