Borrello: Citizen Committee To Focus On Community Rather Than Politics

Stock image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.

MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, throughout his tenure, has initiated a series of committees in an attempt to bring discussion and feedback on ideas and concerns for the county.

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On Friday, Borrello’s office announced that he’s implemented a new committee called the “Citizen Advisory Committee.” During an interview with WNYNewsNow Monday morning, Borrello explained how the idea of a “Citizen Advisory Committee” is something that he’s desired to accomplish for some time.

“The Citizen Advisory Committee is something I actually wanted to do for awhile now,” Borrello said. “The idea is to bring a group of people together that are involved in their communities, but don’t have any direct ties to county government. These people come from a nice cross section from the county and different walks of life.”

“These people would sit down in a group and discuss various topics that are impacting county government, or initiatives that I’m potentially looking to do…This is really about getting honest feedback from people.”

Fredonia native Mike Ferguson (D), who previously lost to Borrello in 2017 for the County Executive position, was appointed as the committee’s chair. Borrello said he’s very glad that Ferguson agreed to serve as the chair.

“I’m very pleased that Mike Ferguson has agreed to chair the committee,” Borrello said. “We had our first meeting, and it was very, very productive. We discussed a lot of topics and have since gotten additional feedback from members of the committee, and Mike has lead the discussion well.”

In a press release dated Friday, Ferguson said that he’s “honored” to be the chair, and he added that the committee is community-based rather than politically-based.

“I’m honored to serve as the chair of this innovative committee that will bring a new voice to county government,” Ferguson said. “This board represents a broad spectrum of our community, from seniors to small business people to community influencers who all have a desire for taxpayers to be heard. This isn’t about red or blue, Republican or Democrat; it’s about what is best for the community. I look forward to working with the other committee members and thank George for giving us all an opportunity to be a part of the process.”

During the interview, Borrello also reiterated that the committee isn’t focused on a person’s political affiliation.

“This is not about Red or Blue, Republican or Democrat, it’s about what we can do for our communities,” Borrello said. “Mike (Ferguson) and I worked together to choose the folks that are sitting on the Citizens Advisory Committee. We didn’t look at their political party affiliations at all. It was more about what communities they come from and who do they represent.”

Other members of the committee include Cindy Aronson of Bemus Point, Michael Bigney of Jamestown, Pam Burmaster of Sheridan, Michael Laurin of Jamestown, William Locke of Dewittville, Gary Peters Jr. of Jamestown, Edwin Rodriguez of Bemus Point, Rebecca Ruiz of Dunkirk, Loretta Torain of Dunkirk, and Matthew West of Cherry Creek.

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