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A Big Week Ahead: NY Governor Kathy Hochul and A New Allegany County Undersheriff

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From the Editor, 8/22/21

This week in both state and local government news, Allegany County government and our fortunes in state government will see major changes. These changes are not related but both will directly impact the daily life of county residents, elected officials, government employees, and government policy. It is safe to say that after the week to come, Allegany County and New York State will be in new territory.

In Allegany County, the leadership in the Sheriff’s office will be taking a new direction with tomorrows(Monday 8/23) announcement of the new Undersheriff of Allegany County. This position was recently vacated by longtime local lawman Kevin Monroe prior to the end of the term. According to Allegany County Sheriff Rick Whitney, the decision to appoint a new Undersheriff to fill the vacancy is his choice alone. As we previously reported, Whitney is interviewing and making the decision without disclosing any information. The Sheriff did tell us that, “I have some very qualified candidates that applied.” Hey, surprises are nice right?

What does the Undersheriff do? While Allegany County doesn’t have a specific job description available, this is the Montgomery County NY Undersheriff job overview.

On Tuedsay August 24th, Buffalo native Kathy Hochul will ascend from Lieutenant Governor and become the first female Governor in New York State history. This is very important for Allegany County for several reasons, the first being that she isn’t Andrew Cuomo. The outgoing Governor had very little interest or time for the Southern Tier of Western New York and the general feeling in this Republican dominated region was mutual. To put it simply and bluntly: Allegany County had little political equity with Cuomo and expected no return on investment.

Maybe more important in the long-term is that Hochul is a Western New York native, has represented us in the US Congress, and had a distinguished career as Lieutenant Governor. In fact, Hochul has visited Allegany County many times, has relationships with local leaders, and was instrumental in allowing the Village of Wellsville to save the Burrous building from imminent destruction. Her close work with local leaders and support for local business is very apparent in this photo with then Mayor Judy Lynch and the previous owner of the Duke House, Nancy Meyers.

While the prospects for major changes in the upstate-downstate dynamic are unlikely, at least Allegany County will be able to pick up the phone and talk with Albany without the animus or political baggage from the Cuomo administration.

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