County GOP Has No Idea How To Improve County Economy

To The Reader’s Forum:

In December 2005, when the last Democratic Chautauqua County Executive left office, the county’s labor forcec was 66,500 people. In December 2019, before the pandemic, Chautauqua County’s labor force was only 53,200 people, a decline of 13,300. These numbers are reported monthly by the New York State Department of Labor.

The main reason that employers still here in Chautauqua County cannot easily find workers is that there are 13,300 fewer of them left in this devastated county economy. A labor force decline of 20%. (For the Republicans in Mayville who always blame the state for all our problems in Chautauqua County, the state’s labor force has held steady for those two years).

The last Democratic administration in Mayville was committed to economic developmente and job creation. They opened industrial parks and brought in new businesses like Serta Mattress and Southern Tier Brewing in the south county and even managed to reopen a closed steel mill in Dunkirk in 2002, attracting Universal Stainless Steel to our county.

As County Executive Mark Thomas left office in December 2005, the NYS Department of Labor reported 63,200 employed in the county. In December 2019, that number had plummeted to only 50,500 employed, a drop of 12,700, or 20%.

When informed citizens point out that Chautauqua County’s job picture is a disaster, and at the same time employers say they cannot find enough workers, both are correct.

Recent news that a couple of old schools are being converted into apartments, or another hotel or two might be built, or that another discount store or two might be opening in the county, is virtually meaningless in providing good job opportunities for our young people graduating high school or JCC or SUNY Fredonia.

The Republicans in Mayville have shown no understanding of the economic collapse of the county during their 15-year reign, and have, therefore, not a clue as to how to turn things around.

Howard Brook



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