There is an alphabet soup of organizations looking for some way to improve Chautauqua Lake.
From the CLMC to the CWC to the CLA to the IMC and more, each acronym ultimately stands for a group hoping to be the one to solve each of the lake's issues. However, while each group is aware of the next, it seems there is much discussion and little action being taken.
Enter Peter J. Smith and Company, a firm hired by the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission - and paid for in part by area non-profit organizations - to advise the groups as to the logical next steps to take in order to get results.
It's about time.
The firm was hired on a temporary basis. It will be meeting with the various groups concerned about the lake and reporting back to the CLMC, which ultimately reports back to the County Legislature. According to Fred Croscut, R-Sherman, the purpose of hiring an outside group is to ensure everything regarding the lake is laid out on the table for all to see.
"We want to make sure we as a county do not have any preconceived notions about what we want," Croscut said. "We want to be transparent, we want to be open."
Lyle Hajdu, chairman of the CLMC, predicts Peter J. Smith and Company will determine another group needs to be formed, a group that will have the authority to make changes as well as utilize any resources that may become available.
It would seem the hiring of an outside firm is just one more step in the discussion process, we hope it will set the wheels in motion to make a real difference for Chautauqua Lake. The county is looking to Peter J. Smith to pull all of the groups out of the lake muck in which they seem to be stuck. There will always be dozens of varying ideas to restore Chautauqua Lake. Smith's job isn't to convince people they are right or wrong. Instead, his job is to pull the groups together and take the best of what each has to offer to help form a coherent plan for Chautauqua Lake.
Are they willing to be pulled together?
That is the real question.