On Thursday, the Buffalo News ran a piece that touched on each of Erie County's races, highlighting the candidates very briefly. Our team decided to fill in some important details about this year's election season, so we've offered the following editorial:
More than just a topic to kick around the water cooler, this year’s local elections will color our future in Erie County for years to come. That is why I felt the need to expound upon yesterday’s article regarding county wide elections. With major issues on the table, and credible candidates on the ballot, we must elevate the discourse about local elections.
As Erie County tax payers, it is our job to select the best and the brightest—not to be mistaken with the richest and most well-connected—to represent our needs on a local level.
The Comptroller office in particular, which oversees the usage of Erie Counties $1.7 billion-dollar budget, certainly deserves a more nuanced, accurate glance. For five years, this position has been held by an incumbent with no skill or training for the position in question. The list of his ethics violations and scandals continues to mount. What readers needed in yesterday’s article was a breakdown of platforms, a discussion of skillfulness, and a recounting of the issues.
Beyond these next few years, county elections often poise officials for larger roles with broader influence. Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul was once Erie County Clerk, as was Senator Chris Jacobs. Chris Collins was once our Comptroller. Who we choose for county governance has a history of representing us in higher offices in the future. So I ask you, who should we prepare for these offices, Erie County?
The time for politics as usual has passed. Urgent issues face our county, and I would ask Erie County to seek out a skilled, ethical, and professional workforce for its highest positions of governance. County races are a critical reflection of our community’s civic engagement. They are an opportunity for our residents to hire the person they trust to handle issues that will affect their lives and their communities.
Many members of our community would have been unable to vote only 100 years ago. Let's not forget the right, privilege, and duty we have to choose a candidate to serve as our representative.