David Callard announces he will retire from County Legislature

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 April 2017 at 4:13 pm

David Callard

‘For the remainder of my term I will give emphasis to the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic – a problem that is not only unique to us but threatens the very fabric of our country.’

David Callard announced today he will not be seeking re-election to the Orleans County Legislature. Callard is the current chairman of the seven-member group. He has been a member of the Legislature for nearly 24 years, following four years on the Ridgeway Town Board.

Callard, a Ridgeway resident, is a retired banking executive. He ran for Congress in 1996, losing to a long-time incumbent, John LaFalce.

Callard has led the County Legislature the past eight years, a time when the Legisature sold the county nursing home for $7.8 million, and redesigned the county government, streamlining operations and partnering with Genesee County with a shared public health director, Board of Health and other staff.

Callard and Orleans County officials have also partnered with Niagara County in the Niagara-Orleans Regional Alliance, a two-county group that has pushed for Broadband Internet, consistent dredging of harbors, and also opposed the Lighthouse Wind project in Yates and Somerset, and a new plan for controlling Lake Ontario water levels, that NORA fears will lead to more erosion on the south shore.

David Callard of Medina is congratulated by County Clerk Karen Lake-Maynard after he signed the oath of office on Jan. 2, 2014 to serve a two-year term as County Legislature chairman. Legislature Clerk Nadine Hanlon is in back.

Callard issued this statement this afternoon:

“By the end of the year I will have completed 28 years of public service.

The first four years were with the Town of Ridgeway as councilman and supervisor, and the next 24 years with the Orleans County Legislature – the last eight of which were as the chairman. My only desire has been to make life better for the people. As I move on and transition into the future I doubt that my desire to help will change.

This December I will leave office knowing that the county is well positioned for the future. To that extent I will review the state of the county at an upcoming general meeting of the legislature. For the remainder of my term I will give emphasis to the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic – a problem that is not only unique to us but threatens the very fabric of our country.

In the past week I have spoken with the District Attorney, the Sheriff, and the Task Force to facilitate not only enforcement of the law, but in the rehabilitation of the addicted. Our discussions will continue and I anticipate an announcement regarding new initiatives in which we will seek your involvement by the latter part of the month.

We are all impacted by the illegal use of drugs. We are all deeply saddened when somebody dies from an overdose of drugs. Most recently we were devastated by the death of a child of our county employee family.

The District Attorney has informed me that from this day forward, when somebody in Orleans County dies from an overdose, he will pursue State and Federal prosecution for wrongful death against the supplier.

The Sheriff, while enforcing the law, will also lead the effort to strengthen the rehabilitation side of the problem.

The legislature stands firmly in support of these efforts.

Orleans County is small and cohesive enough that it has the potential to accomplish great things. It is already drawing state attention on the departmental level for many innovative efforts. I am now calling upon the people of this county to join in an unprecedented county-wide fight, working with our State and Federal partners, in an effort against the illegal use of drugs to help us secure a better future for our children.”

These photos show some recent highlights of Callard’s tenure as Legislature chairman:

Legislature Chairman David Callard, Legislator and Public Safety Chairwoman Lynne Johnson and former Emergency Management Director Paul Wagner are pictured in May 2014 when the county celebrated a $7.1 million upgrade to its emergency radio system.

David Callard gives Narby’s Superette and Tackle owner Sharon Narburgh a hug following a ceremony on June 26, 2013 when the Point Breeze community received a trophy and check for $25,000 after winning the “Ultimate Fishing Town” competition.

David Callard speaks during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 17, 2014, when the bridge on Route 279 was reopened following repairs. The county took out an $8 million bond to pay for several infrastructure projects, including bridge and culvert work, as well as new roofs and other upgrades to county buildings.

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