The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce/Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier congratulates County Executive Greg Edwards on his recent announcement to appoint Department of Health Director Christine Schuyler as the new Commissioner for the Department of Social Services. As a result, Ms. Schuyler will take on administrative oversight of both departments.
The administrative consolidation is a positive move for the county for two reasons. As the county continues to face a serious budget deficit, this change will save money; in addition this is a further step towards reduction in the overall size of county government. The Chamber of Commerce is solidly in favor of both reduced spending and downsizing government, in order to save taxpayers money.
In addition, Edwards last week announced that the Departments of Health and Veteran’s Services would collaborate to help provide cancer services to veterans – yet another move to provide an important service while saving money.
Kevin Sanvidge, Chairman of the Chamber/MAST Public Policy Committee said, “This is exactly the type of leadership we have been looking for. We are pleased that County Executive Edwards has taken these steps towards cutting costs and reducing the size of government, while still providing needed services.”
“We have asked the County Executive some difficult questions in recent months,” Sanvidge added. “He is responding, and the Chamber/MAST looks forward to working with him on future cost-saving and consolidation issues. We remain particularly interested in consolidations of the layers of taxing entities including municipalities and school districts.”
During the Chamber’s recent County Executive’s Breakfast, Edwards said much of the financial burden facing the county is due to New York State’s failure to deal with Medicaid and public employee pension reform. The Chamber/MAST Public Policy Committee supports efforts towards state spending reforms, in addition to tax cap legislation pending in Albany.