Being a resident in Allegany or Cattaraugus County has its advantages. We are far from the maddening traffic jams that city drivers endure. The landscape that surrounds us is a gift that keeps on giving. Folks are friendly, and chances are that you know your neighbors. We tend to look after and help each other out. The quality of the air we breathe is much cleaner, and our crime rate is much lower than that of city and urban areas.
Living here, however, does present challenges. Some of these challenges are met and are handled with commendable ability. I tip my hat to our winter road crews – we certainly get more than our fair share of snow here. To our volunteer fire, ambulance and paramedic crews – I salute you. You exemplify the true spirit and heart of the rural community.
Unfortunately, our counties do face issues such as job growth rate, stagnant population growth, and poverty. We also face issues that many citizens in the United States are now facing. Senior citizens are trying to cope with the new Medicare D plan. Parents and/or students are struggling with trying to pay for their higher-education tuition. The “No Child Left Behind Act” seems to be having unwanted consequences in school districts across the nation. Gasoline will soon be $3.00 a gallon and will probably continue to rise. Health insurance costs, if you are lucky enough to have it, seem to rise every year. Have you received a tax cut and is it covering these rising costs? Most of us can say, “No!”. And the new bankruptcy law has made it more difficult for those who are in dire need due to medical/unforeseen costs to receive relief.
It doesn’t matter who we are – Democrats, Independents, Republicans, No Party Affiliation, etc., we are all affected by these issues. What is decided upon at the local, state, and federal levels impact each of our lives.
My goal for this site is clear and simple. I wish to create a forum to inform and discuss issues that are pertinent to our counties and its citizens. I believe in facts and in the right to be fully informed. I believe in the ability to form opinions based on fact. (Local/national/cable news and talk radio give you the topics and taking points, but more often than not, very little time is spent on the “fine details”.) I believe in the right to ask questions, and I expect truthful answers.
I encourage your participation. Every voice is important! We may debate and disagree sometimes; that is quite OK. I just ask that we do it in a respectful manner.
Elections are coming up in November. I will be posting information regarding campaigns to help keep you informed. I’m also encouraging those running in our districts to join our community and post so that we may get to better know their views. I also encourage readers here to post election information that they have to share.
I welcome you to our community and I look forward to hearing from you. Let us know what issues are important to you. If you have in-depth knowledge on certain issues, please share this for the benefit of the community. Don’t forget – your voice is important!