The Republican who has headed up the Chautauqua County Legislature for the past five years has decided to step down from leadership at the end of the year. Following last night's monthly meeting in Mayville... Ashville's Jay Gould confirmed that he had informed fellow lawmakers that he would not seek another term as chairman. Gould... who first served in that capacity in 2012... says there are several factors involved... one being his health.
Gould says his grandson plays at Southern Missisippi University. In fact... he says he will miss the first two legislature meetings next year. He had only missed three in his 16 years on the legislature. Gould says he's also stepped down as chairman to encourage more of the younger Republican legislators to be in leadership posts. Gould says he's most proud of one accomplishment during his time as chairman -- the sale of the county home in Dunkirk. He will remain a legislator... but, says the Republican caucus is still discussing it's leadership for next year.
Lawmakers in Mayville last night approved salaries for two new positions that'll be assigned to the new "Fly-Car" paramedic service being offered in the county next year. The legislature adopted a 35-to 45-thousand dollar a year salary for a basic paramedic... and, a 38-thousand-800 to just under 50-thousand dollar salary for a Senior Paramedic. Both positions will be added to the CSEA-Unit 6300 Salary Plan.
The co-chairman of President-elect Donald Trump's campaign in New York state says he believes the bumpy start for Trump's transition team will "smooth out" shortly. Local Congressman Tom Reed says every transition team goes through changes... including the one where chairman -- and New Jersey Governor -- Chris Christie was replaced by Vice-President-elect Mike Pence. Reed also says he likes both of Trump's first two appointments... and, spoke highly of Republican National Party Chairman Reince Priebius... who will be White House Chief of Staff. He also felt there was unfair criticism of Breitbart Media executive Steve Bannon... who will be Trump's Senior Advisor. Reed calls allegations that Bannon is a racist "reckless." It was reported yesterday afternoon that Trump is considering charter school advocate Eva Moskowitz to serve as education secretary. Moskowitz reportedly met with the transition team yesrterday. In addition... former GOP Presidential adversary Senator Ted Cruz... is reported to be under consideration for Attorney General. Reed made his comments during his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has again been elected to that post by Majority GOP members in a unanimous vote. Local Congressman Tom Reed says Ryan was not opposed in seeking the post... which he was elected to following the resignation of former Speaker John Boehner. Reed calls the move a "very productive" step to moving forward on the President-elect's agenda... and, is a testiment to Ryan and his leadership. He says it's also a sign of the President-elect's desire to work with House GOP members. Reed acknowledges that Ryan and Donald Trump had their differences during the campaign... but, says they had a good meeting following the election, and both sides are on-board going forward.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is repeating his intention to seek a third term in two years amid speculation about possible White House candidates in 2020. Cuomo told reporters Tuesday that he is still planning to run for re-election and wants "to be the best governor" he can. Cuomo is one of several prominent Democrats whose names have popped up on lists of possible presidential contenders. Re-elected to a second term in 2014, Cuomo is already raising money for a re-election bid. He's said he has "grave" disagreements with Republican President-elect Donald Trump but has vowed to work with the new president on issues affecting New York state. Last year... Cuomo said he wants to serve as the state's governor "as long as the people will have me." There are no term limits on New York governors.
We could see our first, measureable snowfall this coming weekend. However... while there's been a lot of talk about that possibility... there is still a lot of uncertainty about how much. That Wednesdayfrom Forecaster Dan Kelly with the National Service in Buffalo. Kelly says a storm system will pull in much cooler air late Saturday into Sunday. Kelly says that Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Southern Erie Counties have the greatest chance of seeing snow. Kelly says at this point the computer models still vary quite bit when it comes to snowfall amounts and temperatures. He says some are showing a few inches of snow to about 6 to 8 inches. However... he says -- depending on the temperature... there may just be rain in some locations. Kelly says they should have a better handle on the situation by Friday. Until then, you better have the snow shovel handy just in case.
Two families from Jamestown's southside have donated the latest Colorado Blue Spruce tree to be used as the city's Christmas Tree this year. Crews from the city Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department and the Board of Public Utilities were at 31 and 35 Walnut Street Wednesday morning harvesting the 40-foot tall tree. City Arborist Dan Stone tells me they appreciate the donations each year. Once the tree is anchored on the plaza... Stone says it'll be decorated with more than 25-hundred energy-saving LED lights for the upcoming Holiday Parade, and the holidays themselves. Stone says it's a solid, good-looking tree. He estimates the tree is about 40 years old... accounting for a foot for each year. He says tree will be ready to go before the Christmas Parade... which will be held on Friday, December 2nd. It's put on by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation... and, typically includes about 100 units from local businesses and organizations. The parade travels down Third Street to Tracy Plaza... where the tree is lit to begin the parade.
Four Cattaraugus County residents have been arrested for allegedly trying to haul a mobile home -- with no wheels on it -- along a town of Carrolton Road last weekend. Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they were called to the scene on South Nine-Mile Road about 7:30 last Sunday morning... where they found the abandoned trailer blocking the roadway. Deputies say the alleged driver of the truck hauling the mobile home, 32 year-old Brandon Maynard of Great Valley, was towing the home when the axles broke as he was driving south on Route 219. However... he continued towing the trailer until it crash and became immovable on South Nine-Mile Road. Officers say Maynard and the other three... 47 year-old Sandra Watson... 53 year-old Todd Clark... and 28 year-old Jacob Clark... all face charges... incuding operating without legal escort. Maynard is charged with several counts... including leaving the scene of a property damage accident, and second-degree criminal nuisance.