On The Table
Northern Chautauqua “On the Table” was held during the first week of May. On the Table is an opportunity for the different communities to share and reflect on the issues that matter most to them. This was an excellent opportunity to learn from the residents and leaders of the various communities what they love about the region and the opportunities for improvement.
The conversations were positive and informative. Several discussions involved suggestions and dreams of seeing an intergenerational involvement of our residents – to foster an environment where our younger residents can learn from our seniors and vice versa – a focus on “two way” mentoring. A concern for economic development was also discussed and many agreed that Chautauqua County seems to have taken a positive turn but we need to continue those efforts.
There continues to be a concern regarding the drug epidemic in our communities and the problems/issues that it causes. This has been an ongoing issue and the “war on drugs” has been going since the early 1970’s. It is time that we develop a community approach and take a “smarter” on crime approach. County Executive Borrello has suggested his Countywide Alliance for Enforcement and Rehabilitation (CAER). This initiative focusses on prevention, education, enforcement and rehabilitation which are all necessary. Along with these four pillars we need to offer hope to those struggling with addiction. Assisting individuals to develop their soft skills to find and keep employment and safe and stable housing are also critical components to combat the drug epidemic. Reducing the number of repeat offenders and those relapsing keeps our communities safer and reduces the costs associated with criminal acts.