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November 2016 Column - Ensuring a Responsible Budget


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.

It’s that time of the year again when the Legislature reviews the County Executive’s budget proposal. The Legislature recently concluded its budget hearings with every county department and elected office where we reviewed spending requests.

It is always my top priority that we approve a fiscally responsible budget to ensure that your tax dollars are spent wisely. I’ve also worked with my colleagues during my first two years in office to provide a reduction in the county tax rate. The current budget proposal provides a small reduction in the tax rate as well.

As we continue to go through the budget I’m optimistic that we will be able to find ways to reduce spending in the budget while ensuring that the services and cultural institutions our residents expect are funded.

I believe an important part of any budget process is public input and you will have the opportunity to speak on the proposed 2017 budget before it is finalized. A public hearing will be held on Monday, November 21st at 6 p.m. in the Legislative Chambers. You can also submit your comments to the Clerk of the Legislature at 92 Franklin St., Fourth Floor, Buffalo, NY 14202 or contact my office at 858-8856 or email to discuss your concerns.

On another note, I recently had the chance to attend a meeting held by the Cheektowaga Police to discuss the Neighborhood Watch program in South Cheektowaga. Held at South Line Fire Department, the Neighborhood Watch program serves as a key volunteer-based resource to help keep our communities safe. Often time, when neighbors get to know each other and work together they become an effective tool in reducing the crime rates in our neighborhoods. Members have stickers for their vehicles and signs are placed throughout a community to notify potential criminals that it is a Neighborhood Watch community. The central aspect of the program is to prevent crimes from happening by being proactive instead of reactive. If you’d like more information on the program in Cheektowaga or in your community, please contact my office at 858-8856 and I’ll be happy to get you in touch with the right contacts.

On one last note, I’d like to congratulate the Lancaster High School football team on an incredible win this past weekend over Orchard Park for the Section VI AA championship! Continuing an undefeated season, Lancaster now heads off to play for the Far West Regional Championship on November 12th, 3:15pm at New Era Field.