Tom Erlandson is a candidate for the Chautauqua County Legislature in the new legislative District 16, which includes all of the towns of Carroll, Kiantone and Poland.
He is the current legislator representing residents in Carroll, Kiantone and part of Busti. Erlandson and his wife, Mary, live at 26 Valley View Drive in Frewsburg.
The candidate is retired from the faculty at Jamestown Community College, where he taught biology and geology courses for 27 years. He is a graduate of Jamestown High School, Jamestown Community College, Franklin and Marshall College, and holds master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
In addition to his current legislative service, Erlandson's prior government experience includes serving two terms on the County Legislature, from 1986 through 1989, representing residents of part of the town of Ellicott, and one term on the Ellicott Town Board in 1992-93. For the coming election he has been endorsed by the Democratic and Independence parties.
Erlandson has a 40-year record of local and regional public service. He is a member of the county Water Quality Task Force; Chautauqua Lake Management Commission; county Park Commission; Allegany Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission; DEC Region 9 Fish and Wildlife Management Board; and the administrative board of the South and Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer Districts.
While representing his current legislative district, Erlandson has sought the opinions of residents and listened to their views on issues considered by the County Legislature. In response to constituent contacts and to resolutions of the town boards of Carroll and Kiantone, he voted to sell the County Home and continues to support that effort. Realizing the necessity of keeping taxes as low as possible and improving efficiency in county government, Erlandson said he is committed to prioritizing government functions, increasing shared services, encouraging government mergers if economically effective, and supporting the efforts of the IDA and other organizations working to keep area jobs and bring new ones to Chautauqua County.
With his background in science and the environment, Erlandson said he knows the importance and value of our fields, forests and waterways. For more than 50 years he has taught, studied and worked to protect and improve the ecological health and economic value of the environment we all share and enjoy, and which draws visitors and industries to the county.
With regard to his candidacy, Erlandson said, "I look forward to the challenge of the coming election and to meeting with residents of the new Legislative District 16 to share views on the important and difficult issues facing county government."