Voters urged to back 2 candidates challenging incumbents on County Legislature

Posted 13 October 2015 at 12:00 am


One is an endorsed Conservative. The other is an endorsed Democrat. They are the only County Legislature alternatives being offered the voters of Orleans County on Nov. 3. If elected, they certainly would not constitute a majority of the seven-member Legislature.

The Conservative is Paul Lauricella. There are many things we disagree on, but I have great respect for him. His opponent actually called selling the County nursing home the “best decision the Legislature ever made.”

The Democrat is 21-year-old D’Youville College senior, James White, a 2012 graduate of Lyndonville Central School and a tribute to the public education system. He believes selling the County nursing home sold out some of the County’s more vulnerable residents, including its veterans.

Lauricella and White represent an opportunity to provide some accountability to the Orleans County Legislature. They are running against two of the four remaining legislators who voted for dumping yet another valuable County asset in 2013.

Remember how selling the County nursing home was going to be so helpful? After all, James White’s opponent assured us how the State Department of Health was going to hold any new owners to the same standards of care we were used to. He forgot that the DOH uses a pass/fail system where a 65 allows them to go on year after year.

And if the DOH failed, Chairman Callard was, he said in 2011, going to make sure a private operator would do right by County residents! A Ridgeway Councilman friend of Mr. Callard thought selling the County nursing home would be a great experiment, as if we could turn back the clock if we had to!

The Legislature Vice-Chairman said, “Now we can repair our roads and bridges (with all the money we were going to save).” What was the $8,000,000 bond for? And now our new nursing home operators want to lower the assessment on their under-assessed property by about 60 percent. That has to be “helpful” to them.

James White and Paul Lauricella may not seem to have much in common. What they do share is a love forand commitment torepresenting all the real people of Orleans County. If elected, they could force a vote on ending the sales tax on home heating fuel, among other things.

They could actually take positions on a Shelby stone quarry and a major wind turbine project (as Niagara County’s Legislature did) in Yates and do what County Legislators are supposed to dolead. They could force a vote on prohibiting sale of products containing the micro beads that may adversely affect our vital water and fishery assets (as Erie County’s Legislature has).

I urge you to seriously consider making a difference with your vote this year by voting for Paul Lauricella and James White for the Orleans County Legislature. Paul is running in Yates and Ridgeway (and a portion of Shelby) and James is running in all 10 towns.

Sincerely yours,

Gary Kent