MAYVILLE - County Executive Greg Edwards is ready to talk about economic development with county residents, having recently attended a forum held at Alfred University.
The Thursday night event was the first of the public forums being held by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. A local forum will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Scharmann Theatre at Jamestown Community College. Anyone with ideas about how economic development can help boost the economy and bring job growth to Western New York are encouraged to attend.
At the Alfred University event, more than 70 people attended and the meeting lasted about two hours.
"A professor from the SUNY Buffalo school of architecture was the moderator who did an excellent job of encouraging participation from all who attended," Edwards said of the Allegany County forum. "Each attendee was given a handheld electronic device that could be used to register individual answers to a series of questions that were posed on the screen in the auditorium. After all had responded the moderator drew out comments and observations from individuals to provide insight into the issue and in each case the comments added value to the issue and enhanced direction for the council on the priorities for investment and the future of the region."
Edwards characterized the format as a combination of a town hall type event and the television show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
"The team of professionals from the Western New York Council were just that, professional, in drawing out comments and helping people summarize their thoughts and opinions that were all captured by scribes who will transcribe them for us to use in our deliberations at the upcoming WNY Council meetings," Edwards said. "There was none of the all-too-common pontificating on obscure issues, or grandstanding by individuals and I would like to compliment all involved for their investment of time in this process."
The Alfred University forum was hosted by Allegany County Legislature Chairman Curt Crandall. Also on hand were Howard Zemsky, one of the council's co-chairs, and Christina Orsi from Empire State Development.
"Anyone from in and around Chautauqua County who wants to have a real and immediate impact on the future of our region, economically, educationally, environmentally, come to the meeting at JCC Scharmann Theater on this Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m.," Edwards said. "The format will be very similar to (Thursday) evening's with ample opportunity for thoughtful exchanging of ideas and focus on our growth and development."