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July 2014 Column - Connecting with the community through business tour


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

We’ve all experienced it. Driving down Transit Road in the heart of our community when all of a sudden the road tightens and your regular commute turns into a roller coaster as you head down and underneath the main railroad lines before climbing back out. Meanwhile, you’re hoping not to get sideswiped by a larger vehicle navigating the narrow stretch between French Road and Gould Avenue. Maybe you’ve seen one of our first responders racing to get to a call and due to the challenges of this stretch they accidently lose a side mirror on one of the bridges, an accident which has occurred all too often.


With the New York State SAFE Act punishing legal gun owners through burdensome regulations, Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) today voted in favor of a measure to support New York State Senator Rob Ortt’s (R-North Tonawanda) legislation to repeal the SAFE Act in areas outside of New York City.


Members of the Erie County Legislature have requested that the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority (ECFSA) Board appear at the next Finance and Management Committee meeting to discuss the new plan that would allow the ECFSA to borrow on behalf of the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) new emergency room. To account for the borrowing the County Executive has submitted a Declaration of Need, which requires Legislative approval.


In the wake of ongoing traffic and pedestrian safety issues, Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) announced the passage of a resolution calling on the New York State Department of Transportation to increase funding to widen Transit Road between French and Gould. The Erie County Legislature approved Legislator Morton’s resolution unanimously at the March 9, 2017 session.


Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) was recently invited to speak at the annual Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast, held Feb. 10, where he provided an update on a wide range of issues, including the county’s budget, the county’s relationship with the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), the opioid epidemic and education.


Small businesses are a large part of our community. By providing employment, contributing to the tax base, and reinvesting dollars into the economy, local businesses are the foundation of our villages, towns and cities.

Our local businesses are also a sense of pride. Every time I look through the Chamber’s announcements or read the local papers, I see that another establishment is marking an anniversary milestone. The small businesses in our community are known for their longevity, perseverance and passion for supporting their hometown. For local business owners, it’s not just about their company succeeding but also about their hometown booming.

To celebrate and support local commerce, I have launched my “25 Businesses in 25 Days Tour” to meet with owners and employees throughout my district to learn more about their operation, as well as offer any assistance from the county that I can. From cafes to industrial factories, my district, which includes Alden, Cheektowaga, Depew and Lancaster, boasts several businesses that are very important to our local economy.

As a county legislator, I am committed to assisting businesses with their mission and to help them thrive. At the county level there are various ways that we can assist businesses. I am also always willing to work as a facilitator to connect businesses with the help they need. When I first learned that Nutrablend in Lancaster was facing hurdles with its plans to expand, I met with the company and we discussed its issues. The two biggest concerns were a lack of skilled workforce and inadequate public transportation. To address these concerns, I suggested a meeting with Erie Community College to discuss how it could prepare students for a future with this great company. I also arranged a meeting with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to discuss options for adding a new bus stop close to the company’s Walden Avenue office. Government and public agencies can be an asset to private businesses but beginning the conversation is the critical first step.

I am looking forward to meeting with many businesses throughout the district during my tour. At each stop I hope to learn about the establishment’s history, its future goals and challenges it faces. If you would like your business to be added to the agenda, please contact my Legislative Office at 858-8856 or email ted.morton@erie.gov to arrange a meeting. You can follow my “25 Businesses in 25 Days” Tour on Facebook at www.facebook.com/legislatortedmorton. If your business has a Facebook page, please connect with me there. Together, government, chambers and private businesses, can succeed and make Erie County even better.