The recent adoption of the Memorandum of Understanding by local municipalities and the County Legislature is likely a step toward the terrible idea of establishing a Lake Management and Rehabilitation District. Such a district would likely increase the tax burden either on those who own property near Chautauqua Lake or on residents throughout the county.
The time has come for the county to step aside and leave management of Chautauqua Lake and other county waters to the property owners, user groups, and advocacy groups in cooperation with the surrounding municipalities. The last few decades of intense involvement of county bureaucrats and investment of county monies has resulted in waste, conflict, and confusion with little to show for improvement of lake conditions.
County funding should be removed from the Chautauqua Lake Association, the Alliance, Chautauqua Lake Partnership, municipal entities and other various interest groups. The result would be lower taxes especially for lakeshore property owners. Residents could then invest these savings in localized management of the lake.
Lakeshore property owners should be free to collaborate and use different management strategies in different areas of the lake while respecting the rights of their neighbors and keeping within the bounds established by the DEC. In time, the best and most effective management strategies would be replicated and adopted throughout the lake.
In short, County bureaucrats are the too many cooks in the kitchen spoiling the pot of Chautauqua Lake and other waterways.
If elected, I will oppose the establishment of a Lake District and advocate for less County resources spent on lake management while advocating for solutions that rely on property owners, user groups, municipalities, and advocacy groups working together and developing strategies that produce positive results.