Chautauqua County Legislature Bids Farewell To Outgoing Legislators

MAYVILLE- The Chautauqua County Legislature held its last meeting of the year on Wednesday night at the Gerace Office Building.

It also signified the end of terms for 13 legislators, three of whom were absent.

Chairman Jay Gould commended each of the outgoing legislators on their time served, beginning with Larry Barmore, the new Chautauqua County Clerk, effective Jan. 1.

Barmore, R-Gerry, served District 8 for six years from 2008-13 and was a member of Administrative Services and Public Facilities committees.

From 2010-13, Lori Cornell, D-Jamestown, served District 12 and was a member of the Administrative Services Committee.

District 25 legislator Bill Coughlin, D-Fredonia, served for two years and was a member of the Public Safety Committee.

Fred Croscut, R-Sherman, served for 16 years as District 20’s legislator from 1998-13 and was a member of the Planning and Economic Development Committee for which he served as chairman for two years. Croscut also sat on the Public Safety Committee and was chairman of the legislature for two years.

Tom Erlandson, D-Frewsburg, was a member of the legislature for six years and represented District 8 from 1986-89 and 2012-13. He was also a member of the Economic Development, Human Services and Public Facilities committees.

County Executive-elect Vince Horrigan, R-Bemus Point, served as District 17 legislator for two years and was a member and vice chairman of the Human Services Committee.

District 14 legislator Tim Hoyer, D-Jamestown, served from 2012-13 and was a member of the Human Services Committee.

Rod Rodgers, G-Forestville, represented District 5 from 2012-13 and was a member of the Planning and Economic Development Committee.

Robert Stewart, R-Ellington, represented District 7 from 2010-13 and was a member of the Public Facilities Committee and also served for three years as the committee’s vice chairman.

Bob Whitney, D-Jamestown, served as District 15 legislator from 2012-13 and was a member of the Public Safety Committee.

“It’s not an easy job sometimes, and I want to thank you. It’s been a real pleasure being your chairman,” Gould said after presenting each legislator with a certificate of recognition.

Former County Executive Greg Edwards attended the meeting and also commended the present legislature for its efforts. Edwards received a standing ovation for his term as county executive from 2006-13.

Absent legislators included Bob Duff, R-Sheridan; Victoria James, D-Jamestown; and Tom DeJoe, D-Brocton.

Sandy Sopak also received a standing ovation for her 20 years of service as Chautauqua County Clerk.

“My whole heart goes out to you for putting your faith and trust in me. I had the time of my life,” Sopak said to the legislature. “I can’t tell you how grateful and thankful I am to have had this position. I love the people of this county. I just love this place.”

As for the new, downsized Chautauqua County Legislature, three new faces and two former legislators will join 14 incumbents in Mayville in January. Thirteen Republicans and six Democrats will make up the downsized group of 19 rather than 25.

Democratic legislators will include Fred Larson of Jamestown, District 12; Janet Keefe of Fredonia, District 4; Keith Ahlstrom of Dunkirk, District 1; Shaun Heenan of Dunkirk, District 2; Chuck Nazzaro of Jamestown, District 9; and Paula DeJoy of Jamestown, District 13.

Republican legislators will include Terry Niebel of Sheridan, District 5; George Borrello of Irving, District 6; John Runkle of Stockton, District 7; Pierre Chagnon of Bemus Point, District 8; PJ Wendel of Lakewood, District 10; David Wilfong of Jamestown, District 11; Mark Tarbrake of Jamestown, District 14; Lisa Vanstrom of West Ellicott, District 15; Jay Gould of Ashville, District 17; David Himelein of Findley Lake, District 18; John Hemmer of Westfield, District 19; Bob Scudder of Fredonia, District 3; and Ron Lemon of Frewsburg, District 16.