County Republicans Just Keep Adding New Jobs, More Spending To County Budget
Are we living in a world gone upside down?
One would think with Republicans in charge of spending in Chautauqua County that residents could be confident that dollars would be spent conservatively. But here we are, in the middle of January, seeing another expansion of county government on a position that doesn’t provide a public service after the Chautauqua County Legislature — a group run by tax-and-spend Republicans — approved a Media Information Officer to become part of the county’s Management Salary Plan.
For the tidy sum of between $60,000 and $90,000 a year, taxpayers will receive consistent messaging that they could already be receiving. Contrary to popular opinion amongst some legislators, does anyone think the county wasn’t effective getting its message out during the COVID-19 pandemic? To the contrary, it was one of the things County Executive PJ Wendel and former county Health Director Christine Schuyler did well in the early days of the pandemic. Information may have tailed off as the pandemic wore on, but that’s not indicative in our opinion of needing a new position. Instead, it’s indicative of the need to set a priority for existing employees.
Does anyone think a taxing district on Chautauqua Lake failed because the county didn’t do a good job of messaging and putting out information? To the contrary, as more information came out the idea was shown to be a poor one.
Was there a ton of media attention focused on Chautauqua County in the aftermath of the Salman Rushdie stabbing last summer? Yes. Has it since abated? Absolutely. Does a temporary increase in media attention warrant another county position? We think not.
Democratic legislators Susan Parker of Fredonia, Tom Nelson of Frewsburg and Billy Torres of Jamestown made good arguments against the new position. Who’d have thought three Democrats would argue convincingly in favor of smaller government while Republicans continually vote in favor of more positions and more local level spending to the point that there are more county employees now than there were 10 years ago — a span that includes selling a county owned nursing home and reducing the county’s employment level by 270 people?
To answer our own question, yes, the world, at least when it comes to county government, is upside down.