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July 2016 Column - Restoring Como Lake


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.


You may have read recently in the news about ongoing efforts to dredge Como Lake. Long considered a “crown jewel” of the county parks system, if you drive down Lake Avenue in Lancaster and take a peek at the lake, it’s clear that the jewel needs quite a bit of polishing.

Efforts have been underway spearheaded by a group of local residents to get hundreds of residents to sign a petition to restore Como Lake Park to its former glory. It is an effort that I support 100 percent. I was pleased to see Erie County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commissioner Dan Rizzo include a proposal to dredge both Como Lake and Akron Falls in this year’s Capital Projects request; unfortunately the proposal was not ranked very high on the priority scale by the administration. Even more discouraging, at one of the Capital Projects Committee meetings, a senior member of the County Executive’s administration actually floated the idea of removing the dam at Como Lake essentially turning the lake into a creek. Beyond the fact that this could have serious flooding implications for those downstream, this effort would destroy an area of major significance to so many of us.

During the Lancaster 4th of July Parade I distributed fliers asking residents to help restore the lake by calling the County Executive at 858-8500 and asking him to make this a priority. Soon after, I was pleased to see the Lancaster Town Board unanimously pass a resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Dawn Gaczewski urging the county to dredge the lake. We must all work together to push the issue and get the lake dredged and I’m glad to see that the Town of Lancaster is in full support of efforts to get the job done. It is far overdue and our residents deserve nothing less than a clean, beautiful park. Together we will get the lake dredged and make Como Lake Park the crown jewel of the county parks system again.

As a quick update from last month’s column, the Legislature reviewed the work recently completed by the Charter Revision Commission, and approved many of the recommendations including providing full pay to county employees who are serving military leave; establishing a new independent redistricting process;  and enacting real ethics reform that will hold elected officials accountable With the final public hearings on the proposals wrapping up, a final vote on the recommendations is scheduled for July 14 and I am hopeful that the County Executive will accept the proposals and allow the public to decide in November.

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.