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What happened to our branch system of government? Yes, voters in Erie County chose County Executive Joel Giambra, but let us not forget that we also chose legislators to represent us.

Legislators and the county executive have equal power and an equal responsibility to the residents they have been chosen to serve. Let legislators do their job. They live and work in our neighborhoods, which often give them a greater understanding of our needs and concerns. Our legislators come from diverse backgrounds, which allows for a variety of opinions and ideas to come to the table.

We have all heard the saying "two heads are better than one." On issues such as the tobacco settlement and the budget, which will significantly impact the future of Erie County, I would rather have many heads working on the best solution than one person desiring to take credit for the victory. In such cases, the residents are the true victors because of the changes made by our legislators, proving that a system of checks and balances works.

The county executive seems to be looking for legislators who will sign off on his proposals without taking the time to examine all options. But I think most residents and educated voters want and expect our legislators to continue to be the independent-minded representatives that we elected them to be.



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