There are four villages that have contested races among the nine that will hold their annual March elections today across Chautauqua County. That from County Elections Commissioner Brian Abram... who says voting begins at 12 Noon. Abram says among the most competitive races will be in Mayville... where two village board seats are up for grabs. However... he adds that there won't be a vote on that village's top-elected official. Abram says Rick Syper is running for village trustee on both the Republican and Democrat lines... while Tim Jacobson is on the just the Republican line... and, James Mayer is on the Democrat line only. Other contested races are in Cherry Creek... where four people are running for two seats on the village board. Three people are running for two seats in Westfield... and, two are running for one seat in Brocton. Abram says two villages are also considering moving their election to the Fall. Several villages have voted in the past few years... most recently Lakewood... to move their vote to November. Lakewood residents will start voting in November of 2015. Others that have moved are Celoron... Falconer... Fredonia and Silver Creek. Today's village elections run from Noon to 9 PM. You can view results for all but Sinclairville's election on-line at VoteChautauqua-dot-COM.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is promoting his property tax rebate plan with local officials as state lawmakers begin a series of public discussions of the budget due April 1st. The moves kick off an intense two-week stretch as Cuomo and lawmakers try to agree on a budget deal by the deadline. Cuomo's budget proposal includes giving tax rebates to homeowners in jurisdictions that meet the spending limit and then consolidate services to save money. Democrats in charge of the Assembly have rejected Cuomo's plan. Cuomo promoted his plan at a Capitol news conference Monday with the county executives of Albany, Ulster, and Nassau counties. Also Monday... the Senate and Assembly have begun a series of joint conference committee meetings to consider differences in the budget.
The New York Senate has rejected a bill to open state financial aid to students in the country illegally. Monday night's 30-to-29 vote was short of the 32 votes needed to pass. The Senate is controlled by a coalition of Republicans and breakaway Democrats. The Assembly passed the Dream Act last month... and, included it in its budget resolutions last week. Governor Andrew Cuomo had indicated his support for the measure. The proposal included a budget appropriation of 25-million dollars to open up Tuition Assistance Program money for students at both public and private colleges. Opponents of the bill say it takes opportunity away from students in the country legally.
They are still celebrating a first-ever New York State high school team championship at Chautauqua Lake Central School in Mayville. The Lady Thunderbirds basketball team defeated Hoosick Falls of Section 2 in Sunday's Class-C Final, 47-to-36. Chautauqua Lake High School Principal and Athletic Director Josh Lydell says the girls came to school -- still sporting their gold medals -- yesterday morning. Lydell says they returned home about 11 Sunday night with a police and fire escort. Lydell says the team became a rallying point for the Mayville and Chautauqua communities which make up the Chautauqua Lake District... and, he says they were all still on "Cloud 9" Monday. Since Ripley tuitioned out high school students to Chautauqua Lake... he adds one girl from Ripley also got to enjoy the experience. Lydell says he was most impressed during the Semi-Final Game against Haldane... which isn't far from Albany... and, Chautauqua Lake fans at least doubled the number of fans Haldane had. While the Chautauqua Lake Girls Team is the first team to win a state title from the school... they are not the first students to win a state championship. Craig Howard won the state pole vault championship a few years ago.
Congress has approved two measures to deal with what Chautauqua County's representative in the House calls presidential "overreach" and selective enforcment of some laws. Corning Republican Tom Reed says his support of the "Enforce the Law Act..." and, the "Faithful Execution of the Law Act" is based on concerns raised by constituents during his town hall meetings in the district. Reed says this is "not about poltics..." because there will be a different president not far down the road. He adds there is even some Democrat support for the measures. He says the "Enforce the Law" measure clarifies Congress's role when an issue is raised about whether the president can act unilaterally on an issue. Reed says the "Faithful Execution of the Law Act" deals with such matters as the Justice Department saying it won't prosecute drug offenders under minimum sentencing guidelines. Reed says that law would also deal with such matters as delaying parts of the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare. The Senate has not yet taken up the bills.