From The Editor, 8/14/21
With the recent news of Governor Cuomo’s resignation, the New York political landscape will be dramatically different. Not only will be have the first woman has governor, but we will have a Western New Yorker who knows Allegany County well as the state’s new chief executive. Will rural upstate New York gain a stronger voice now that Cuomo is leaving?
As the Chairman of Allegany County, Curt Crandall summed up the general relationship with outgoing Governor Andrew Cuomo:
“I personally invited the Governor to visit Allegany County on numerous occasions and he has never set foot here.”
Crandall, is also about to end his long term as leader of our county legislature, but on much different terms. He will simply be serving out his term and will not be seeking re-election after many years of serving as Chairman. It should be noted that Crandall has been a great example of a public servant who worked hard and did so without any scandals, personal drama, or the need for investigations. He is uniquely positioned to comment on the recent developments and pending change in administration:
“This will be the fifth Governor that has been in office for New York State since I became Chairman of the Allegany County Board of Legislators. Pataki, Spitzer, Patterson, Cuomo and now Hochul. I am glad that Cuomo is resigning as are many across New York, especially rural New York. I personally invited the Governor to visit Allegany County on numerous occasions and he has never set foot here. Kathy Hochul on the other hand has been here many times and I have enjoyed many meetings and conversations with her about Allegany County. It will be good to have a Governor that knows where we are and understands the difference between a small rural county and the more populous ones. Being from a working-class family, serving in government at the Town and County level gives her a better insight of our needs. Even though our pollical affiliation may differ, I look forward to a Governor that we have a relationship with and one that we can reach out to. She has her work cut out for her in Albany and time will tell whether she can swing the biased pendulum back closer to center. Both sides of the aisle should welcome the change that is taking place and strive to not lose this opportunity for a better New York State.”
Also from District 1 is Phil Stockin, who seems to be the, “heir apparent,” to replace Crandall as county Chairman. Should he become the next leader of the county, the job should be made easier by having a Western New York native as Governor. Still, Stockin, who has also lived through many governors expressed cautious optimism:
“I really have nothing earth shattering to say in regards to Albany adventures. I think it is a relief for everyone that the Governor has resigned. As for the days ahead…..I would hope with the new governor to be there would be more understanding for our neck of the woods as she is a native of WNY. I guess I would take a wait and see attitude and hope for the best.”
Closer to Wellsville, District 4 Legislators also have expressed the universal relief that the Cuomo era has ended(once again) in New York. Karl Graves, who is retiring from the Allegany County Legislature due to, “self-imposed term limits,” has been an outspoken critic of the outgoing Governor. Graves has consistently railed against downstate dominance and the general indifference to the plight of Western New York:
“I’m unfamiliar with Hochul. I’ve never met her but I like the things I have been hearing and reading. I’m impressed that she is a member of the NRA. What I like most is that she is not from New York City or Long Island. We need a Western New York voice and hopefully some of the crazy things that have been happening, Bail Reform et al, will come to reason. She still has to contend with the Democrat controlled Legislature and the test, for me, is how she deals with them. People are leaving Western New York like rats from a sinking ship. If she can stem the tide and bring some sanity to the issues we face that drive people away – it will be a God send.”
Another Wellsville/Andover District 4 Legislator, Steven Havey, recently emerging victorious from the June primary, echoes the common sentiments and looks forward to a new future for New York:
“First of all, I was not surprised by Andrew Cuomo’s resignation. I actually expected it weeks earlier. He did the only reasonable thing available to him. I can’t know his motivations but it is clear that we are no longer in the world of 1970. He should have known better.
Going forward, we will be working with Governor Hochul. While I have not dealt with her on projects in the past, what I do know about her causes me to be optimistic. We will need to give her a fair shot. She is from Western New York, and I consider that a plus. We need to keep an open mind, use our common sense and do our part to move New York forward.”