|Thomas J. Mazur - District 8
NOVEMBER 13, 2007
NEW COUNTY EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATURE CAN WORK TOGETHER
Erie County voters spoke loud and clear this November. They voted for a person they perceived was an agent for change to lead county government. As a legislator, it is reassuring to know now who I'll be working with. Lately, it has been difficult to work towards any meaningful changes in government because many legislators simply did not want to work with the current executive.
So, now we have Christopher Collins, a businessman, who would like to bring his business acumen to county government. I look forward to meeting with him to discuss his agenda and mesh it with how I perceive government should run.
When I review his responses to the twenty questions asked by the Buffalo News regarding issues that are important to Erie County, I can honestly say that I somewhat disagree with him on four of the twenty. He seems like a well-intentioned man, even though his tone on one of his responses was a tad combative.
But it is understandable to get caught up in rhetoric during the heat of a campaign. Our governor got himself stymied a bit when he brought his voters' mandate to the legislature like a bully. I don't think Mr. Collins will allow for this to happen -- after all, as a businessman, he is used to negotiating. And that is what this county needs more than anything, a leader who first can build trust and then begin to work collaboratively towards change.
As much as the county executive received a voter mandate, all legislators who ran for re-election received the same. The voters trusted the legislators they chose and voted them back in office. Now, it is up to both the executive and legislative branch to show the voters that they were correct in their choices. I have to agree with Mr. Collins when he said, "regionalism around here has taken on a bad meaning. The result is there's not a level of trust today. We have to earn that back. My administration will focus on rebuilding that trust."
I think once that level of trust is achieved between the executive and legislative branches of government, more things get accomplished. We begin to work in tandem towards common goals that not only impact Cheektowaga, Depew and Lancaster, but the entire Western New York region. This is an exciting time to be a legislator. I'm not afraid of positive change, especially if it changes the image of our region.
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