GUEST COLUMN: Building a stronger Erie County for all in 2020

Modified: January 3, 2020 3:18pm

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January and a new year are here, bringing a close to a busy 2019 as well as the beginning of a promising 2020 for Erie County. The occurrence of the new calendar year also brought a new term in office for me as your County Executive.

As such on New Year’s Eve I was joined by many guests and well-wishers in the ceremonial courtroom at Old County Hall as I took the oath of office for my third term. It was a moment to note successes from previous years, acknowledge challenges that lie ahead, and be thankful for the many people who work together to make our county great.

It was also a time to discuss why I believe government can truly play a positive role in people’s lives.

My experience in office convinces me we can and will lift all boats as Erie County’s tide continues to rise by investing in our neighborhoods, our communities, our people, through our government.

Too many people look at government as being the problem. They say government is incapable of solving any issue. They believe government should only provide the bare minimum of services. They don’t believe government can be a force for good.

I reject that notion because when you say government is incapable of solving problems, you are actually saying people are incapable of solving problems, because a government is the collective embodiment of its people.

I believe that government, when run effectively, can be a force for good. It must lead when others will not. Moreover, it has to lead to address the issues we face.

We have proven that a government built on the principles of compassion, inclusion, service to others, and fiscal stability can succeed. While we have created the best economy our region has seen in more than 50 years, invested in our infrastructure, parks, and libraries, and focused on creating stronger communities, there is more work to do to ensure everyone benefits from the great rebirth our community has seen.

So as we begin a new year I ask all county residents to go forth with a renewed sense of dedication to the ideals of what our county can be and with a purpose to create the best Erie County it can be for all.

If we do, I know the best is yet to come.

Thank you for giving me the privilege to continue to serve as your County Executive. As I have pledged to you before, I will work very hard on your behalf and I will not let you down.

Happy New Year to all and May God bless Erie County and the United States of America.