Candidate Johnson promises new economic development director

Fredonia businessman Ron Johnson, the Democrat-ic and Independence party candidate for Chautauqua County Executive, today pledged that there will be new leadership for the county’s economic development efforts on Jan. 1, 2014.

“When the voters of Chautauqua County elect me as their County Executive on Tuesday, Nov. 5, I promise that there will be a new leader as the county’s Direc-tor of Economic Develop-ment and Chautauqua County Industrial Develop-ment Agency Executive Director.”

“The record of job losses over the last eight years is clear and the record is terrible. We must have new leadership for our economic development and job creation efforts.”

“Under the current Chautauqua County Indus-trial Development Agency leadership, we lost Petri Baking in Silver Creek, SYSCO in Falconer, Craw-ford Furniture in James-town, jobs loss at Carriage House in Dunkirk and just this month, Keywell Corp-oration (VacAir Alloys) in Frewsburg announced it is closing and the loss of over 100 good paying jobs.”

“Under the current CCIDA leadership, Chau-tauqua County has 7,000 fewer people employed than just 7 years ago. In June 2006, for example, the New York State Department of Labor reported 65,400 people were employed in Chautauqua County. In June 2013 that number had plummeted to 57,700, a loss of 7,700 jobs.”

“The County Economic Development Director draws two salaries. As the County Economic Development Di-rector, he makes $89,603 (more than the County Executive). As the Executive Director of the Chautauqua County Industrial Devel-opment Agency, he has additional income pushing his total to over $100,000 per year. He has not produced results for the people of Chautauqua County that justify that huge salary. Where are the jobs?”

“Our Industrial Develop-ment Agency has cost too much and achieved too little.”

“The New York State Comptroller found in 2011 that the CCIDA had administrative expenses of over $1,200,000 or $2,226 per job gained. Our neighbor, Cattaraugus County, only spent $243 per job gained.”

“Out of the 56 county Industrial Development Agencies (outside of New York City), 50 of them spent less per job gained than did the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.”

“This disaster must end. Starting Jan. 1, 2014, I will bring new leadership to the task of bringing jobs back to Chautauqua County to provide opportunity for our people to be able to stay here and be successful here.”