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Quick Facts
Personal Details

Education

  • BA, State University of New York, Buffalo

Professional Experience

  • BA, State University of New York, Buffalo
  • Former Special Assistant, Attorney General Dennis Vacco
  • Former Employee, Cattaraugus County Sheriff Department
  • Former Employee, Erie County Sheriff Department
  • Former Owner, Small Business
  • State Deputy Inspector General, State of New York
  • Former Deputy Inspector General, State of New York

Political Experience

  • BA, State University of New York, Buffalo
  • Former Special Assistant, Attorney General Dennis Vacco
  • Former Employee, Cattaraugus County Sheriff Department
  • Former Employee, Erie County Sheriff Department
  • Former Owner, Small Business
  • State Deputy Inspector General, State of New York
  • Former Deputy Inspector General, State of New York
  • Assembly Member, New York State Assembly, 2005-present
  • Former Minority Steering Chair, New York State Assembly
  • Candidate, New York State Assembly, District 148, 2018

Former Committees/Caucuses

Member, Medicaid Redesign Team, present

Former Member, Aging Committee, New York State Assembly

Former Member, Agriculture, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Task Force, New York State Assembly

Chair, Assembly Minority Conference's Steering Committee, New York State Assembly, present

Former Member, Children and Families Committee, New York State Assembly

Former Member, Crime in Our Communities Task Force, New York State Assembly

Former Member, Hunting and Fishing Task Force, New York State Assembly

Former Member, Medicaid Waste, Fraud and Abuse Task Force, New York State Assembly

Former Member, Small Business Task Force, New York State Assembly

Former Co-Chair, Statewide Forum on Workforce Issues in the Correctional System, Assembly Minority Conference, New York State Assembly

Former Member, Task Force on the State of New York Agriculture, Assembly Minority Conference, New York State Assembly

Member, Public Authorities Control Board, 2009

Current Legislative Committees

Member, Codes Committee

Member, Correction Committee

Member, Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry Committee

Member, Ethics and Guidance Committee

Member, Rules Committee

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

  • BA, State University of New York, Buffalo
  • Former Special Assistant, Attorney General Dennis Vacco
  • Former Employee, Cattaraugus County Sheriff Department
  • Former Employee, Erie County Sheriff Department
  • Former Owner, Small Business
  • State Deputy Inspector General, State of New York
  • Former Deputy Inspector General, State of New York
  • Assembly Member, New York State Assembly, 2005-present
  • Former Minority Steering Chair, New York State Assembly
  • Candidate, New York State Assembly, District 148, 2018
  • Major, Civil Air Patrol
  • Member, Western and Central New York Chapter of Safari Club International
Articles

Governor Cuomo Announces Cattaraugus, Ontario and Sullivan Counties Will Receive $1.2 Million in State Matching Funds Through the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative

Sep. 27, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced Cattaraugus, Ontario and Sullivan Counties together received a total of $1.2 million in state matching funds via the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative. The CWSSI provides a dollar-for-dollar state match of taxpayer savings achieved through the implementation of new shared services identified in county-wide plans produced as a result of the Initiative. The counties' plans identified ways to consolidate services and save taxpayer money through government efficiencies in services and community programs. "These counties understood early on that this project was an opportunity to evaluate operations and service delivery in each municipality in order to achieve great combined services that will save taxpayer money," Governor Cuomo said. "Their plans showed months of diligent research and vision to implement a better and more compact way of governance for their communities, and I applaud the job they have done in spearheading an initiative that promotes increased collaboration and efficiencies amongst our local governments." "We encourage local governments to work together to streamline services and reduce costs," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "These shared services projects between Cattaraugus, Ontario, and Sullivan counties will save taxpayers $1.2 million and increase government efficiency. As part of our shared services initiative, we are providing the counties with state matching funds to further benefit their communities and enhance quality of life for residents." Each county received matching funds for the following: Cattaraugus County: Worked to achieve its efficiency plan and the state matched over $930,000 in net savings from the implementation of four plan projects. Projects for which net savings were matched by the state include the establishment of a joint equipment, materials and services sharing/purchasing portal; joint property tax assessment; and participation in the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal. Cattaraugus County partnered with over 30 towns and villages, and the cities of Olean and Salamanca. Ontario County: Its plan will receive a match of $207,172 from the implementation of 10 plan projects. Plan projects include shared health officers, the Employee Assistance Program (which includes school districts), heavy equipment, employee training and planning services. Ontario County worked with more than 25 municipal partners including the City of Canandaigua to achieve this savings to taxpayers Sullivan County: New York State matched $79,694 in net savings to Sullivan County. Sullivan County and the Town of Rockland will share offices housing their Department of Motor Vehicles and Sherriff's office as well as sharing plowing services. The Town of Liberty partnered with Sullivan County to share a Parks and Recreation position. Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "Cattaraugus, Ontario and Sullivan Counties understood the critical importance of working together to offer tax savings to their communities. The County-Wide Shared Services Initiative inspired them to work as a whole to deliver taxpayer savings and government efficiency through shared services that will bring positive results and recurring savings for years to come." Senator Rich Funke said, "Ontario County does a phenomenal job as a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars. I'm proud of their efforts and I'm glad they have been rewarded with a state shared services grant. I congratulate Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Jack Marren and his team for coming up with new and innovative ways to deliver needed services while saving taxpayer dollars." Senator Pamela Helming said, "This is a great step forward for Ontario County. Together, we are working to make the best use of our tax dollars and making government more efficient. It's important that we work together to hold the line on spending and find creative new ways to deliver greater efficiencies and better results for hardworking taxpayers. I congratulate Ontario County for being recognized for its creativity and effectiveness through these funds and I thank the Governor for recognizing the importance of shared services." Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb said, "County governments are constantly looking for innovative ways and efficient practices to best deliver services. With local budgets facing pressure to manage costly unfunded mandates, streamlining services takes on added importance. The professionals of Ontario County who worked to identify and implement these critical cost-savings measures deserve a tremendous amount of credit." Assembly Member Joseph Giglio said, "Our county and municipal governments should be proud of their achievement of creating a successful plan for shared services so that our residents could get some relief from the burden of heavy taxes. I'm pleased that Cattaraugus County is a recipient of these matching funds through the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative. This funding will provide significant savings for communities throughout Cattaraugus County." Assembly Member Aileen Gunther said, "I want to congratulate Sullivan County on being one of only three counties across the state to win a grant through the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative. Sullivan County's plan will help increase efficiency and reduce the property tax burden for local taxpayers." Assembly Member Brian Miller said, "At the state Capitol we are always looking for ways to better serve New Yorkers while reducing costs and improving efficiency. I am very proud of Sullivan County for taking the initiative to save taxpayers money by working with local towns to find more ways to save without compromising services. I would encourage all local governments to continue seeking ways we can work together to reduce the bureaucracy and expense of government so that our citizens can better afford continuing to call New York State home." Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Luis Alvarez said, "Once again, we've eagerly tackled the challenge Governor Cuomo set for us through his County-Wide Shared Services Initiative, and we've found cost savings and program efficiencies that can only ultimately benefit our communities. I'm gratified the State is matching those savings, and I firmly believe we will find further innovative ways to share services and save taxpayer dollars." Ontario County Administrator Mary Krause said, "Ontario County was able to capitalize on a legacy of cooperation and shared services with our municipalities and school districts. CWSSI provided a proscribed format and timeline for our discussions. We welcome these matching funds as an affirmation of our continuing collaborative efforts to the benefit of our taxpayers." Cattaraugus County Chair James Snyder said, "This shared services agreement was only as good as the people that got involved in it, and here in Cattaraugus County, our people did an excellent job. The net result was a positive savings for our taxpayers. We were proud to participate in this valuable opportunity from the State of New York. It was a long time coming and we are looking forward to the next round." Cattaraugus County Administrator Jack Searles said, "I would like to commend the Governor and New York State for promoting shared services. While shared services have long been something that has occurred between our municipalities, this effort and this program engendered a focused dialogue and approach among municipalities to reenergize efforts around sharing resources that generate tax savings. Thank you for this opportunity!" Matching state funds for Cattaraugus, Ontario, and Sullivan counties are part of the first round of funds received for plans proposed and implemented to save taxpayer money and offer efficiencies in government services to their communities. Guidance documents regarding the CWSSI and state match application process are available here. Past CWSSI plans are available here. The County-Wide Services Initiative is administered by the Division of Local Government Services at the Department of State. The Division provides technical assistance and competitive grants to local governments. For more information on CWSSI or any programs administered by the Division, please contact localgov@dos.ny.gov or call 518 473-3355.

Governor Cuomo Announces $6.4 Million Grant from Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to Improve Genesee Valley Greenway, Niagara Shoreline Trail

Aug. 21, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $6.4 million in grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, in addition to $4 million in state funding, which will support ongoing improvements to the Genesee Valley Greenway State Park and the Niagara Shoreline Trail in Western New York. The projects will help make key connections to the Empire State Trail. The not-for-profit Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, created after the 2014 death of Wilson, the former owner of the Buffalo Bills and a co-founder of the American Football League. "This support from the Wilson Foundation, coupled with new state funding, will help repair, enhance and expand recreational opportunities on these multi-use paths in two beautiful parts of western New York, which Ralph Wilson loved so much," Governor Cuomo said. "His legacy will strengthen tourism, increase safety for bicyclists and hikers, and further revitalize communities that are better connected." "As an avid bicyclist, I know how important this significant funding will be as we continue our efforts to improve connections to the Empire State Trail," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "We are fortunate that Ralph Wilson's spirit lives on through generous philanthropic efforts. In celebrating his legacy, we are grateful to the Foundation's commitment towards our regional trail systems. These investments will expand recreational opportunities, and boost the tourism industry and economy of Western New York." Both the Genesee Valley and Niagara projects will also strengthen significant connections to the Empire State Trail, a statewide project announced in January 2017 by Governor Cuomo. Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020, the Empire State Trail will be a continuous 750-mile route spanning the state from New York City to Canada and Buffalo to Albany, creating the longest multi-use state trail in the nation. Plans for the Genesee Valley Greenway, a 90-mile former canal towpath and railway bed in Monroe, Livingston, Wyoming, Allegany and Cattaraugus counties that has been a State Parks multi-use trail since 2011, call for $6.5 million in improvements. Projects for the Genesee Valley Greenway being funded include:-Complete resurfacing, infrastructure improvements and signage on 17 miles of trail from Rochester to the village of Avon in Livingston County.-Disability access improvements at Greenway Bridge at Mt. Morris in Livingston County near Letchworth State Park.-Partial resurfacing, as well as parking lot improvements, infrastructure and signage, between York Landing and the Abbey of the Genesee near the hamlet of Piffard in Livingston County.-Creation of a strategic plan to identify further improvements along the rest of the Greenway, which passes through 16 towns in the five counties as it follows the corridor of the former Genesee Valley Canal and Pennsylvania Road.-The Wilson Foundation is providing $2.5 million for the work, while State Parks is providing $2.5 million, and the New York State Transportation Department is providing $1.54 million. The Greenway connects to the Empire State Trail at Genesee Valley Park in Rochester, and is used for snowmobiling, hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. The Wilson Foundation also has awarded an additional $2.5 million dependent on the state locating matching funds to be used to support further Greenway improvements identified in the strategic plan. Administered by State Parks and the not-for-profit Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway, the Greenway trail runs from Rochester to Hinsdale in Cattagaugus County. Along the way, the Greenway passes the village of Cuba in Allegany County, a center of the state's dairy industry that once billed itself as the Cheese Capital of the World. Near Buffalo, four projects totaling $4.1 million are planned for the Niagara Shoreline Trail, including:-One mile of new trail south of the village of Lewiston.-A study on how to close gaps in the shoreline trail from Lewistown to Lake Ontario, and to evaluate how to repair an impassable section of the Niagara Gorge Trail known as the Talus Slope.-Creation of a public outreach effort on implementation of construction on additional new trail sections in Lewiston.-The Niagara Shoreline Trail will connect to the Empire State Trail in Niagara Falls. The Wilson Foundation is providing a grant of $1.4 million to support this work, with another $2.7 million provided by the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, State Department of Transportation, the New York Power Authority, the Niagara River Greenway and the town of Lewiston. New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "This work being announced today will bring more people to western New York to use these trails, strengthening the local recreational economy, as well as adding even more vitality to Governor Cuomo's visionary Empire State Trail. Ralph Wilson cared deeply about this region, and his impact in our state through these trails will continue to benefit people for many years to come." New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "Building a 21st century transportation system that improves quality of life and promotes tourism and economic development is a core mission of the New York State Department of Transportation, which is why we are proud to be a part of Governor Cuomo's historic Empire State Trail initiative. The Genesee Valley Greenway State Park and the Niagara Shoreline Trail are natural treasures and these projects will make it easier for New Yorkers and visitors to our state to experience all that they have to offer." NYPA President and CEO Gil Quiniones said, "As part of the 2007 relicensing of the Niagara Power Project, the New York Power Authority committed more than $450 million over 50 years to the Niagara River Greenway. This funding will help develop and enhance a linear system of state and local parks and conservation areas linked by a network of trails from the northern mouth of the Niagara River at Lake Ontario along the Niagara River to the City of Buffalo at Lake Erie. Working with partners like the Wilson Foundation and the Governor's office, we can more quickly fill in the gaps of those trails and broaden the vision of connecting trails for hikers and bicyclists across the State." Empire State Trail Executive Director Andy Beers said, "This gift from the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation will help make both the Genesee Valley Greenway and the Niagara Shoreline Trail into even better attractions on the Empire State Trail. Their generous grant will provide Western New York with a trail system that will draw visitors and promote economic development." Senator Patrick Gallivan said, "New York is blessed with some of the most beautiful parks and trails in the country. Thanks to the generous support of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and its partnership with New York State, residents will be able to enjoy the Genesee Valley Greenway and Niagara Shoreline Trail for years to come. By connecting communities and citizens along the Empire State Trail, we will increase recreational opportunities and support economic development across the state." Senator Mike Ranzenhofer said, "I am pleased to see funds going to the Empire State Trail. Improving our Upstate infrastructure and enhancing the quality of life for our community is always a top priority." Assembly Member Joseph M. Giglio said, "I am happy that these Empire State Trail connections will be completed, and that both the Niagara Shoreline Trail and the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail will receive infrastructure and access improvements. The enhancements to these trails will benefit individuals and communities across Western New York. I commend the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for their willingness to invest in the wellbeing of our communities throughout the region." Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, "I applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo, State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid, and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for making these improvements possible. I believe that when the project is complete, it will create a safe, continuous multi-use trail that will be accessible to persons of all ages and abilities. This improved and fully continuous trail will offer and encourage more residents to engage in healthy physical activity; and with its connection to the Empire State Trail, attract more tourists to local communities and businesses." Livingston County Board of Supervisors Chairman David LeFeber said, "These investments in the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail are much appreciated by the residents of Livingston County. The Greenway has a rich history and is well utilized by residents and visitors alike as people look to get outdoors and stay active in the Finger Lakes region. These improvements augment the capital infrastructure work taking place at the County's Al Lorenz Park, which adjoins the Greenway Trail in Mount Morris and includes several miles of new trails for outdoors enthusiasts to enjoy. " Mount Morris Village Mayor Frank Provo said, "The Village and Town of Mount Morris, along with the Villages and Towns of Geneseo and Perry have created the Letchworth Gateway Villages to promote our area as an outdoor tourist destination. This is great news to know additional improvements are coming to the Greenway to help us in promoting the Genesee Valley as a great place for outdoor adventures." Wilson Foundation President and CEO David O. Egner said, "The Genesee Valley Greenway is an incredible natural greenway that connects communities from Monroe to Cattaraugus Counties and has the potential to link two beautiful State Parks together in western New York. We're proud to support this important connection to the Empire State Trail, which will further improve the recreational, transportation and economic development opportunities for the many communities along the 90-mile State Park." Director of Tourism and Marketing for the Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce Elissa Russell said, "Continued investment in the development of our parks serve to enhance the quality of life in the region and contributes to the economic health of the region and its ability to attract and retain businesses. Continuously recognized as one of the healthiest counties in New York State, it is Livingston County's intent to promote the use of parks recreation and those activities that encourage a healthy lifestyle. The completion of this project will have a profoundly positive and lasting effect for the both the visitors and residents of Livingston County." President of Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway Joan Schumaker said, "What thrilling news! Thanks to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and Governor Cuomo for this major commitment to improving the historic Genesee Valley Greenway, one of the state's longest multi-use trails. An upgraded trail surface and infrastructure improvements are just what is needed for the Greenway to attain the standard of the Empire State Trail, attract additional trail visitors, contribute to economic activity in Greenway towns and villages, and encourage area residents of all ages and abilities to become regular Greenway users. We look forward to working together with all involved on this truly transformative project." Co-Founder of Genesee River Wilds Allen Kerkeslager said, "One of our own group's major goals is to promoting appreciation for the Genesee sand New York State officials have begun to take on a greater role in achieving this goal." Common Ground Health CEO Wade S. Norwood said, "As the health impact assessment of the Greenway documented, this gorgeous trail is already a shot in the arm for community wellness. Now, with these critical new upgrades, folks of all abilities will be able to access the Greenway for walking, biking and other activities proven to reduce chronic illness and improve mental health. We applaud the leadership and commitment of Governor Cuomo, the Wilson Foundation, the Genesee Transportation Council, Monroe County, State Parks and Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway for making these enhancements possible." Genesee Transportation Council Director James Stack said, "GTC was pleased to participate in the celebration of Ralph Wilson's 100th birthday in Buffalo this past October when the Ralph Wilson, Jr. Foundation announced a very significant investment in the health of Western New York by supporting opportunities for a more active lifestyle, especially among our youth. We are thrilled that the Rochester area is benefitting from the Foundation's generosity. Today's announcement will expand a recently-approved project to resurface a portion of the Genesee Valley Greenway that is consistent with our Regional Trails Initiative to promote active transportation. Additionally, the Genesee Valley Greenway was the subject of a recent study, in partnership with Common Ground Health, to assess the influence that health impacts can have on transportation planning. I am pleased to see many of the recommendations being incorporated into this project." The Wilson Foundation grants will be made to the National Heritage Trust, which will support trail work to be done by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. In September 2018, the Wilson Foundation launched a $200 million initiative to support parks and trails in western New York and southeastern Michigan, with funds to be split evenly between the regions. Half of New York's share was earmarked for rebuilding LaSalle Park in Buffalo, which is planned to be renamed Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park, with the rest to be used for regional projects. That same month, the foundation provided a $6.5 million grant for the Empire State Trail initiative in western New York for gateways, signage, kiosks, bike racks and other amenities between Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Rochester. That work also included 7.4 miles of Niagara Shoreline Trail to connect Niagara Falls to Tonawanda, as well as a new gateway and trail improvements at Devil's Hole State Park. The goal is to have the shoreline trail ultimately connect to the shorelines of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The Foundation's continued funding builds on New York State's $23 million investment to improve the Empire State Trail from Buffalo to Rochester, and to enhance outdoor recreation opportunities in the Niagara Gorge. About the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation: The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.'s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires in January 2035. This structure reflects Wilson's desire for the foundation's impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information visit http://www.ralphcwilsonjrfoundation.org/. State Parks oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which were visited by a record 74 million people last year. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.parks.ny.gov, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.