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May 2017 Column - Spring Cleaning


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

The Erie County Legislature’s Majority Caucus sponsored a resolution at Thursday’s session in support of proposal that would eliminate fees charged to veterans and/or their next of kin to obtain records. The bill, H.R. 4325...

Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick announces that HEAP applications are being accepted. HEAP is a federally funded program to assist income eligible Erie County residents with the costs of home heating, electricity, and...

This past Tuesday our annual experiment with democracy continued, as voters cast ballots for a number of offices including Erie County Sheriff, Comptroller and Clerk.  In addition, all eleven seats in the County Legislature were up.  At...

I pay a lot of taxes.  Many of my neighbors do, too.  In fact, a number of studies have concluded that residents of Western New York pay some of the highest state and local taxes in the nation.  As both a county legislator and a...

Legislator Kevin Hardwick announces that Kenmore Presbyterian Church, 2771 Delaware Ave., Kenmore is one of several sites for the next series of Erie County Senior Services' Powerful Tools for Caregivers classes. This course is designed for...

oneilj - Posted on 11 May 2017

The historic rain of April has finally given way to the seemingly endless rain of May.  Since this has made it virtually impossible to mow my lawn, let me instead take time to put some of my thoughts down on paper regarding the spring of 2017.

 

The large amount of rain in recent weeks has hampered more than just my lawn mowing efforts.  It has made patching this spring’s crop of potholes a real challenge for the county’s DPW, as throwing blacktop in a pothole filled with water would be counterproductive and a waste of both time and money.  Another impediment for the proper patching of many of our roads is that the county crews that service Grand Island and the Town of Tonawanda come from our facility on Harlem Road in West Seneca.  These crews are spending an inordinate amount of their time patching county roads on the route of next month’s Ride for Roswell, which runs through their district.  Although we are all supportive of this event, we still need to give proper attention to the rest of the county road system.  That is why in a recent meeting I arranged on Grand Island, the Town of Grand Island’s Highway Department agreed to work with us to insure that county roads on the island receive adequate patching in a timely fashion.  We have enjoyed this sort of cooperation in the past from Grand Island, as well as from the Town of Tonawanda.  When governments work together in this manner, everyone wins.

 

As I reported last month, the opioid epidemic is an increasing concern for Erie County and the nation.  County legislators and other officials continue to meet with service providers and other experts in an attempt to do what we can to combat addiction and its effects.  Some of these conversations can be very disturbing.  Recently, for instance, we were warned by a member of a criminal justice task force that the problem may get significantly worse in the not too distant future as more powerful drugs, including animal tranquilizers, make their way into Western New York.  The County Legislature is currently considering a proposal to spend another million dollars in our fight.  Like most of my colleagues, I have no qualms about spending this money to save the lives of our citizens.  We want to be sure, however, that we spend the money where it will do the most good.

 

Individuals can also aid in the fight against the opioid epidemic.  The Erie County Department of Health has scheduled a number of trainings on recognizing and responding to opioid overdoses.  This includes training in the use of Naloxone to treat overdoses.  For more information you can visit www.erie.gov or contact my office at 858-8672.

 

Finally, the Erie County Department of Health is sponsoring a free rabies vaccination clinic on Wednesday, May 24 from 4-7 pm at the Town of Tonawanda Highway Garage, located at 450 Woodward Ave.  The clinic is for dogs, cats and ferrets.  You can find more information on the county’s website or by contacting my office.

 

If you have thoughts you would like to share, I would love to hear from you.  I can be contacted by phone at 858-8672 or via email at kevin.hardwick@erie.gov.