MAYVILLE - The six outgoing members of the Chautauqua County Legislature were honored Wednesday by their fellow lawmakers.
During the final meeting of their tenure, Chuck Cornell, Tina Hallquist, Wally Huckno, Stephen Keefe, David Kleparek and David Wilder were presented with certificates of commendation by Legislature Chairman Keith Ahlstrom.
Read by Legislature Clerk Janet Jankowski George, the certificates commended each legislator for their years of "hard work, dedication, service and leadership." Additionally, the certificates recognized each legislator for the committees they served on during their term or terms.
The County Legislature’s six outgoing legislators were honored Wednesday. From left, Wally Huckno, D-West Ellicott; Stephen Keefe, D-Fredonia; David Wilder, D-Silver Creek; Chuck Cornell, D-Jamestown; Tina Hallquist, C-Jamestown and David Kleparek, D-Fredonia.
P-J photo by Nicholas L. Dean
"The Chautauqua County Legislature commends (the legislators) for the energy and commitment to Chautauqua County exhibited while serving with distinction as a member," the certificates read.
Huckno, D-West Ellicott, joked that the 10 years went by fast.
"I was reflecting and thinking where we were economically in the 10 years," Huckno said, "where we were struggling with Medicaid for a number of years, where we were really struggling with the fund balance. Then, suddenly, we got a little more in the bank and I think I'm leaving at a good time.
"I know County Executive Edwards has a tough job ahead and the new legislators have a tough job and I congratulate you on your elections," Huckno continued. "For you guys and gals left behind, I think we do a terrific job. I think the service we perform and all of our employees perform is exemplary. We take a lot of bad raps, but boy, you guys are the ones in the firing lines and you knock on the doors and you see the people first hand. I thank you and I'll never forget you."
Legislators Cornell, D-Jamestown, and Hallquist, C-Jamestown, did not make comments, while Keefe, D-Fredonia; Kleparek, D-Fredonia and Wilder, D-Silver Creek made short statements of thanks.
"Thank you for this," Wilder said of the certificate. "It has been a privilege to be a part of this body and work with the committee members that I've worked with.
"And even though I'll be on the outside of Chautauqua County government," Wilder continued, "the message that I want to continue to convey to the people in this county is that I think Chautauqua County has one of the most outstanding and dedicated work forces of any organization that you could find. Sometimes, they're not given the proper credit that they deserve, but I will carry that message forward that we have some great, great, dedicated people that helped make this county work - and the 25 of you are all a part of that as well."