MAYVILLE - A paperwork mix-up is apparently to blame for miscommunication between some Chautauqua County legislators and County Executive Greg Edwards.
Earlier this week, a letter was sent to Edwards from Paula DeJoy, D-Jamestown, and Thomas DeJoe, D-Brocton. The letter was a follow-up to one the pair sent in May, which never received a response.
The letter, dated May 23, requested a jobs report from Edwards, detailing the number and type of jobs created throughout the county during his tenure.
"We know you share our concern for strong economic development in Chautauqua County and look forward to this opportunity to showcase our successes and determine any areas upon which we may improve," the letter said.
It continued, asking for a report on how many new businesses the administration had helped start in, or attract to the county since 2006.
Additionally, the legislators requested how many jobs, as well as the type of jobs, that have been created over the years.
A second letter was sent to the County Executive's office Nov. 29 following discussion by the Chautauqua County IDA to provide a tax incentive package to the buyers of Covenant Manor in Jamestown.
"We understand the purpose of economic development to be the support of strong, family-sustaining jobs in Chautauqua county. How does such an incentive for Covenant Manor, or for TJ Maxx, Michaels, or other commercial and retail projects for that matter, achieve that end?" the letter said.
Additionally, the letter pointed out that the legislators had not received a reply from the letter previously written. It once again requested a jobs report from Edwards.
"It's all very ironic," said Legislature Minority Leader Lori Cornell, D-Jamestown. "Greg Edwards gripes when others don't respond to his letters, but when he doesn't reply to the letters of others, apparently that's acceptable. Not only do Ms. DeJoy and Mr. DeJoe deserve the professional courtesy of a response, but more importantly, taxpayers deserve to know what Chautauqua County is doing to create jobs and stimulate the local economy. They shouldn't have to comb through piles of website materials and lengthy reports. The onus is on the Administration to be accountable and answer a few simple questions."
Thursday, Edwards responded to the letters from the legislators - in a letter of his own - apologizing for not responding to the request sooner. He said after receiving the second letter, he went through his records to determine why a response was not made to the original letter in May.
"The standard practice in my office upon receipt of any letter is to forward the letter to the appropriate department and compile the data requested," Edwards wrote. "The letter (after being read at the Legislature meeting) was never delivered to my office. As a result, the process to compile the information never began."
In the letter, Edwards informed the legislators that he requested William Daly, director of Planning and Economic Development, compile the data. Additionally, Edwards requested to Fred Croscut, R-Sherman and chairman of the Economic Development Committee, that he and Daly present the compiled information at the committee's January meeting.
Edwards also said in his letter that he would be glad to provide the legislators with any further information, following the meeting.