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August 2016 Column - Odds and Ends


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

We’ve all read the stories in the paper of the countless individuals suffering from the ongoing opioid epidemic. There has been a lot of talk of families being ripped apart by this tragedy, too often we hear talk but see little action.

Legislator Ted Morton joined Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard, Holland Central School Superintendent Cathy Fabiatos and Alden School Superintendent Adam Stoltman to announce continued funding for school resource officers (SRO) in several local districts. The SRO program provides a uniformed officer in schools as a way to promote student safety, conflict resolution and anti-bullying initiatives.


At a Legislative session held on September 21, 2017, Legislator Ted Morton honored Lancaster resident, Dick Young as the September 2017 Citizen of the month.


Today, in response to the County Executive’s offer to work with Legislator Morton to develop a compromise Made in America Act, Legislator Ted Morton wrote to him to begin the process.


Legislator Ted Morton first introduced the Made in America Act in support of local manufacturers and local workers in Erie County. After passing the Legislature by a vote of 9-1, the County Executive vetoed the law after instructing the County Attorney to draft a legal opinion.


A few weeks ago, the Legislature approved changes to the Erie County Charter that were recommended by an all-volunteer citizens committee. With County Executive approval, the measure would have gone to the ballot for the public to have their say and vote on in November. Unfortunately the County Executive chose to veto the recommended changes. As a result, the Legislature anticipates voting on an amended version later this month, including some changes suggested by the County Executive. While I’m disappointed that the original package was vetoed, I’m optimistic that a revised version will be passed and that the public will have the opportunity to vote on it this November.

This month I’m continuing my annual “25 Businesses in 25 Days” tour of the district. In the past two years I’ve visited many businesses and community landmarks from all corners of Alden, Cheektowaga, Depew, and Lancaster, from manufacturers to restaurants, commercial bakeries to theaters. I always find these tours to be extremely beneficial as it allows me to keep an ear to the ground on the different issues impacting our community. Along the way I've have the opportunity to visit many cultural gems, such as the Alden Christian Theater, Lancaster Opera House, and the Lancaster Hull House. Often times I learn about different challenges and ways we at the county are able to help. Recently one of the larger problems businesses are having is a lack of employees. Many businesses are struggling to find qualified employees which are hampering their ability to expand. Burdensome regulations passed down by the state also continue to be a major problem for our community. Businesses are the lifeblood of our community and we should be doing everything we can to help them thrive.

You may have heard that there is a growing problem with rabies throughout Erie County. Many young wild animals are being found stricken with rabies. The County Health Department is encouraging residents to be extremely cautious and to call local animal control or the SPCA should you find an abandoned wild animal. The county is also hosting a number of free rabies clinics. The next one closest to our area is on Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. at ECC’s North Campus at the Noonan Center’s maintenance garage. Please consider bringing your dog, cat, or ferret to the clinic for a free vaccination.

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful summer and as always, if I can ever be of assistance, please call me at 858-8856 or email ted.morton@erie.gov.