Kurtz to seek County Executive office on Independence Party line

Edward Kurtz Jr. announced Monday that he will be seeking to run for the office of Chautauqua County Executive on the Independence line.

Kurtz is a former small business owner who had to close his business because of the sluggish economy and property taxes in the county.

The six main points in his campaign are: create jobs, lower the county tax rate on property, increase the number of sheriffs patrolling roads, sell the County Home, lower the number of county employees and eliminate the bed tax.

With lower tax rates it would be easier for business to hire employees and new businesses to move into the area to create jobs, Kurtz said.

Increasing the size of the Sherriff’s Department would allow Sheriff Joe Gerace to have the manpower to not only investigate more cases of welfare fraud, but to reduce response time for either the sheriffs or state troopers for calls when they are needed, Kurtz said.

With the sale of County Home, it would significantly reduce the county tax rate, he said.

Kurtz described the bed tax as “ludicrous.”

“It puzzles me why we punish those tourists that come and visit our beautiful county,” he said. “… The extra money tourists would save by having this tax removed could be spent at our local wineries or other attractions within the county.”

Kurtz is in the process of circulating petitions to force a primary against Ron Johnson, who has been been endorsed by the Democratic and Independence parties.