For the first time, Jamestown native Dave Wilfong has been elected as a Chautauqua County legislator.
"I really look forward to representing the people in District 11," Wilfong said. "I hope to put my two years in with some values and some dignity."
As for issues in Chautauqua County, Wilfong said there are many residents relying on government to meet their daily needs. He said he met a constituent while campaigning who could not read or write.
"We've got to do something to help these people," Wilfong said. "I'm not pro-welfare, but we've got to offer certain people a 'hand up' so that individuals can move forward in their lives and cut the ties to government subsidies."
Additionally, Wilfong said some of the most important perogatives are job creation and demolishing blighted homes in the city.
"There are a couple of things we've got to do," he said. "One of the biggest issues in our state is still taxes, there's no question about that and we've done well with at least addressing that. I believe the major hurdle is bringing manufacturing jobs back to the Jamestown area."
"One of the biggest issues in our state is still taxes, there's no question about that and we've done well with at least addressing that. I believe the major hurdle is bringing manufacturing jobs back to the Jamestown area."
incoming District 11 legislator
Current Employment: Director of maintenance at The Rehabilitation Center in Olean
Education: New York state-certified code enforcement officer; Jamestown High School
Military Service: United States Army, 1978-82
Takes dancing lessons with his wife, Beth
Wilfong said last week's announcement of the repowering of Dunkirk's NRG plant was positive news.
"I don't think a lot of people in my district knew how important that was," Wilfong said. "Had it failed, everyone would have seen an increase in taxes."
As for other issues facing the county, he said the Chautauqua County Home should be privatized and he will vote "yes" to selling the facility in the future.
"There's no question," he said. "I don't believe we should use taxpayer dollars to support it."
Along with the County Home, Wilfong said both Chautauqua County airports should be privatized.
"There's no way we should be subsidizing them with taxpayer dollars," he said. "When we talk about taxpayer dollars, everything should be on the table. I'm not saying close (the airports), but there should be a way to private them and take them off the tax rolls."
Wilfong would like to see more money spent on veteran services. His youngest son, a combat veteran, is 90 percent disabled from his tours in Iraq and, at times, does not receive the adequate care he needs.
"It's not a veteran's fault they were hurt or injured. I understand the Veterans Agency is overwhelmed, but that's not the veteran's fault," he said.
Lastly, Wilfong hopes to be a member of the Public Facilities Committee and said his 16 years of experience in project development and building construction at The Rehabilitation Center would aid him in the position.
"I think I have a good mindset when it comes to that committee," he said.