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LEGISLATURE SET TO VOTE ON RESTRUCTURING GOVERNMENT

The Chautauqua County Legislature could vote as early as next month on restructuring county government.

The Legislature met Monday with the county's Charter Review Commission, which delivered its final report on charter changes last year.

County Executive Mark Thomas was a member of that panel and has been pushing for adoption of the charter changes before he makes some long-term appointments to positions.

"Our current charter is archaic," Thomas said. "The new charter is more flexible and will allow us to adapt to the times we're living in."

Dale Robbins, chairman of the Charter Review Commission, said: "The old charter is structured so that county government focuses not on the future, but on dealing with minutia and a bureaucracy that's already in place."

Thomas said: "The most fundamental component of the new charter being proposed is that the County Legislature annually will have to set goals, objectives and performance standards for every function of the government."

He said the changes will create a clear road map for the path of county government.

The charter changes are expected to go before the Legislature's Personnel and Governmental Affairs Committee for discussion before they get to the floor of the full legislature for a vote.

"I would like to see some of these changes in place before the budget process begins for next year," the county executive said.

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