Bid to change Chautauqua County Legislature’s policies is shot down - The Buffalo News

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Bid to change Chautauqua County Legislature’s policies is shot down

MAYVILLE – Legislator Timothy Hoyer, D-Jamestown, has asked members of the Administrative Services Committee to change several procedures and practices of the members of the Chautauqua County Legislature.

He addressed the committee at its meeting Monday in the Gerace Office Building.

Hoyer, who was elected in 2011 and started his term in 2012, proposed that all new legislators should have to attend an orientation session. He said that he thought it would be beneficial to have them meet department heads and tour county facilities.

Hoyer also proposed that county leadership committee meetings be open to all members of the legislature and not just to party leaders, and that committee assignments for legislators be assigned jointly by both the minority and majority party leaders.

The fourth part of Hoyer’s proposal was to have all legislators notified by the law department when they begin writing any item that will be an item for the legislature.

Legislature Chairman Jay Gould, R-Ashville, addressed Hoyer and the members of the committee.

He said that he felt no one would attend orientation sessions. He also said there would be costs associated with the orientation that have not been budgeted.

Administrative Services Committee Chairman Robert Scudder, R-Fredonia, said that he thought that any new member of the legislature could obtain information just by asking for it.

Legislator Lori Cornell, D-Jamestown, was the only member of the committee to vote in favor of the proposals presented by Hoyer. The issues will not go before the full legislature.

The committee members approved several changes presented by County Attorney Steve Abdella to the code of ethics. He said the changes included some grammar and spelling issues as well as some clarifications.

The attorney said the proposed changes would make it acceptable for legislators to sit on boards for non-profit organizations.

This was not allowed under the current code. Abdella said training would be necessary on the changes in the code and this would be provided to all members of the legislature.

The new code with changes will be on the agenda for the next legislature meeting on Sept. 25.

The committee also accepted a local law that would allow for the continued collection of occupancy taxes for hotel and motel rooms in the county.

It was announced that past due fees for permits for rental rooms have amounted to $130,000 collected over the past few months. A portion of the “bed tax” funding is returned to communities to promote tourism and other economic improvements.

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