Chautauqua County Legislator Mark Tarbrake has announced his re-election bid for the District 14 seat which represents portions of the towns of Ellicott, Charlotte, Gerry and Ellington.
A lifelong Chautauqua County resident, Tarbrake attended Southwestern Central School, Jamestown Community College and the State University at Oneonta with a degree in U.S. history. He has worked at SKF Aero Engine for 34 years as a laboratory technician and production control dispatcher. He is a member of UAW 338.
The chairman of the legislature's Human Services Committee, Tarbrake also serves on the Administrative Services Committee.
"I strongly believe that we should privatize our County Home," Tarbrake said. "We as a county need to escape the financial burden that it places on our county and our people. During my time on the legislature, we have restructured our Welfare to Work program. After just one year and with the fantastic job that the Department of Social Services staff has done, the county is saving millions of dollars."
As a member of the Administrative Services Committee, Tarbrake points out that the panel has made many important decisions that have benefited Chautauqua County regarding abandoned and vacant real estate. Tarbrake also said it is vital for the county to do what it can to keep the NRG power plant operating.
"It is critical for the future of Chautauqua County that we keep the NRG power plant in Dunkirk open," Tarbrake said. "If the plant were to close, the financial burden of lost tax revenue and jobs would be extremely hard for Chautauqua County to handle.
"We as a county need to continue to pressure Albany for mandate relief," Tarbrake said. "Eighty-seven percent of the Chautauqua County budget is controlled by state programs. Our county and local municipalities are held hostage by the state. We must take drastic measures to change this situation."
Tarbrake said he looks forward to serving the people of District 14 and is anxious to work on new projects that will benefit all taxpayers.
Tarbrake is a member of the Lakewood Kiwanis Club and the Bemus Point United Methodist Church. He lives in Ellicott with his wife, Christine, and their three daughters.