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Lawana Morse

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Lawana Morse last won the day on April 25

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  1. I firmly believe great candidates come from the "fringe" parties but you are right in this - maybe not so much ballot access in this area but simply to win. I saw it in my district. If I had not won the republican primary, I wouldn't have stood a chance of winning the general on my independent line. The numbers tell the story that people vote party lines. My reasoning is because the majority simply don't pay attention to much except what party they are going to support in the end due to media stirring up the hate between the parties. I talked about this with my husband a lot during my campaign that, while I would probably identify more as an independent/conservative, the truth is as a candidate I had to understand and know my audience. In this district, the winner will be a rebuplican. Which is sad and honestly I would love to completely change elections to the point of not having the party affiliation even known. Simply put the candidate on the ballot. (And do away with the petitioning process. You want to run? Just go talk to the BOE and put your name on the ballot.) This was a topic of conversation with a couple people on the rebuplican committee last night as we discussed the 2025 and 2026 open positions and wanting to really find great people who care about the community and county to run for office. I know many (and some of you are reading this!) that would be AMAZING to have in office - but due to "the way it is", getting you elected would be a challenge if you ran on the party you are registered with. And again, it comes down to the numbers. I saw it play out in the town of Veteran. Two appointed board members were not rebuplican. They were fantastic people and absolutley a benefit to the board, but the witch hunt ensued and they didn't attempt to run this past November. They were replaced by two republicans. My advice to anyone who is thinking of running, while it may be a hard pill to swallow, know your voting audience and do what you have to do to give yourself a chance - even if that means switching parties. Great people can play the game as it is and THEN work from the inside to bring about change. WE NEED GREAT PEOPLE TO STEP UP IN 2026. There is going to be a large turn over in the county in 2026. We need people to step up to be candidates and/or help recruit for the positions.
  2. While this is not fair related, it is agricultural which fits in this discussion. The latest Ag Census data came out early this year and since then, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chemung County has been working to put all that data for Chemung County in easy to understand formats for all of us. For those of you that are interested in how agriculture has been changing in the county, you may find this interesting. Side note, I took on the presidency of the county Farm Bureau last October and we are looking for members for the chapter but also active farmers (of any commodity) to join our board. We have quite a few vacancies and honestly, I don't want to be president for another year 😂 I need committee or non-committe members to help with various aspects to help bolster the county numbers and presence in the community. So if anyone reading this is a member or is thinking about it or wants more information about joining - you do not have to be a farmer to join! - feel free to drop an email at ChemungCountyFarmBureau@gmail.com or see me at the fair in the cabin! (Except when I'm in the dunk booth...then you can come see me there and try your best to dunk me!)
  3. Needs to happen. Students can ace a class and absolutely freeze when faced with these tests and fail. Doesn't mean they don't know the material. Just means they struggle with the pressure placed on them with these tests. Does a regents diploma matter? No. It really doesn't. Colleges are more concerned with ACT/SAT scores - that is if a student is looking at a 4 year school right off. Even then, it depends on the school and what the student wants to do. They can enroll online and at that point the enrollment numbers are not as much of a factor so a school will simply take those that pay the fee. In fact, if you struggle with high school you can enter a community school with a GED and placement exams to get that 2 year degree and then move to a 4 year school. Along that lines, tell me an entry level job around here that is going to ask to see your regents diploma. Entry level, non-degree needed jobs, simply require high school graduate or equivalent. Although some don't even require that. Losing regents doesn't equal a dumbing down. The curriculum should be teaching the basics and teaching kids how to handle life. That's where the fail is. Not can Johnny do high level mathmatics or have a great understanding of geology and pass this ridiculous test but rather does Johnny have the skills needed to be a productive member of society. Have the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic been taught alongside managing finances, caring for a household, being a worthy employee, and caring about community involvement?
  4. In regards to hosting a candidating training program? I plan to have it open to anyone in Chemung County - or surrounding if someone is interested. As far as where it will be held, I will go wherever the interest is. Probably will start with a county centralized session and then go from there based on feedback and interested. As far as recruiting candidates for offices, everyone needs to be talking to neighbors and "evaluating" them for their potential for various elected positions within the county, whether it be town, school, or county level. Or ecen state level. Those who care and pay attention should always be looking for those who would make good candidates. I never would have run if someone didn't first approach me about it. I feel that is an area we have all been lacking in. We just wait for someone to step up and then get frustrated when it's always the same ones. It was the argument against term limits - that no one runs. We have to be looking for those people to run and put in place mentoring. I hesitate to say "groom" candidates due to the negative conotations, but that's what needs to be done: preparing quality people for campaigns and the job of office.
  5. I am willing to talk to anyone interested in running against him. I do not know if he is planning on running in 2026. I've heard conflicting information. I would love to see a page full of candidates for all seats at all levels. We passed the terms limits for Legislature and Executive and now we have to prove that quality candidates will step forward. One of the opposition arguments was no one steps up to run. I am talking with others to put together a candidate bootcamp type of program. Whatever level of government, we need to help candidates navigate running campaigns. BUT we also need recruitment at all levels. Finding those willing to run who may not have thought about it or who feel like they don't have what it takes.
  6. No - the mandated costs that are part of the Chemung County budget stay in Chemung County. This just shows the programs that we are forced to fund within the county. The costs of these programs tend to eat up most of the property taxes collected so we then have to rely on sales tax revenue to fund the remaining needs.
  7. As there is always intelligent conversations happening in this forum, I thought I would share this publication from the New York State Association of Counties. It is a bit dated (2019) but gives a nice basis of understanding of what the local goverments have to deal with when budget season arrives. We are a few months out from the 2025 County budget discussions yet good conversation and feedback is always appreciated. https://www.nysac.org/media/mipozilb/state-of-state-mandates-2019.pdf
  8. This is a very true statement. All I did was post a response to an email that I received because I had quite a few constituents reaching out to me about those intersections. Figured a quick public post was easier than sending the info one by one and would help anyone else with the concerns to know it was being looked into. NEVER thought it was news worthy and certainly didn't see it taking the angle it took...but - will say, it hightlights the frustration of communication I have seen over the past year and a half. 🙊
  9. Absolutely. It is not prepared by the auditor. It is prepared by the treasurer’s office and it can be included in the audit booklet or as a separate document. The auditor would have to review it to make sure it complies with the GASB standards . The ACFR is not required by law to be prepared, only the basic financials are but the preparation of it does represent the best practice of government finance. For those that are not aware of the difference between run of the mill financials and the ACFR, the ACFR gives more detail. You get guided through the financials, you are given statistics and analysis. You are also given a comparison to how the actual matched up to the budgeted. For basic financials you are just given the income stmt, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows and left to understand it yourself.
  10. Note worthy, if you look into what the award is, it has nothing to do with the financial health of the county but rather shows that the county is putting together extra reporting during the audit process of financial disclosures in order to receive the certificate. Not being eligible because of the type of opinion issued by Insero doesn’t mean the treasurers office can’t still make the choice to produce the work for the required reporting. As I have looked into what this award means and does for the county, the only benefit to the extra work on an already overworked department is further transparency for the tax payers which can be achieved without the certification. https://www.gfoa.org/coa-award
  11. A few things to weigh in with: The original Novus system was not implemented at the request of the exec branch as had been said by another member of the community in other forums. It was at the request of the then clerks to make their job easier with dealing with route slips. The executive branch can not tell the Legislative branch what software to use to do it's job and vice versa so when it comes to how the exec communicates and get route slip information from the dept heads, he can do it however he wants. Carrier pigeons. Telegram. Chalkboard meetings. Whatever. The Novous system was adopted by previous execs for simple ease and streamline but the clerks had the administrative access. (A comment was made that Moss doesn't like the clerks to be able to see the process until he has finalized things on his end. ) Novus will no longer be supported after July so a new system does need to be in place. Granicus/Peak has bought the Novus platform and in 2022 the Legislature did approve for the Granicus system to be used for the live streaming and web services - but not approved as a replacement for the legislative route slip system. Research was showing that there were too many issues and even though it had bought out Novus, it would not migrate the years of archives over. The blow up of this issue came about due to the exec choosing the Peak system - which maybe in the buried fine print of approving Peak for the web services, had the route slip system included in contract - and telling the Granicus team to not speak talk to any member of the legislative body and to not give the clerks administrative access to the system. The legislative leadership team was looking at Civic Plus already due to the fact that they will migrate the old archives seamlessly, it is being used by multiple other legislative bodies within the state, AND talking with other municpalities that have used Peak, they are making the switch over to Civic Plus because Peak just does not deliver for the needs. Now again, if the exec wants to use Peak to gather the information from his department heads, he is more than welcome to BUT the rules and procedures set in place by the legislature in 2008 state that in order to do business with us, the exec branch needs to follow the rules of putting his information into our system. If the rules said he needed to submit route slips to us on the back of a 50 year old land tortoise that we would provide, then that's how it would need to be done. Not because there is a want of a pissing match, but because we all know there is need for procedures to be set out to keep things running smoothly. Now my personal opinion - I don't care what software is use as long as it does the job. My issue with this (along with others that I am jumping into the hot pan regarding and will be putting a target on my back of being one who does not comply so stay tuned! LOL) is that there has to be communication and collaboration and that is not happening and while this issue seems to be silly and a waste of time/money and taking us away from doing the real work we should be focusing on, this idea that we can constantly be steam rolled into compliance can not continue. And that is why the leadership is making this a fight. And as frustrated as I am, I will stand behind the leadership and our attorny and let them fight this fight as they see fit. We do not have department heads coming to meetings to answer questions. We play the back and forth game and just don't get good information to make decisions. And I'm really to the point that I feel like I need to vote against everything brought to us because of the refusal of communication which would not be in the best interest of the community but as with everything in this world, things seems to be reaching boiling points. I will try to keep popping in and giving my feedback as I can. I'm full throttle in every area of life right now.
  12. Yes. It's frustrating watching from the outside and frustrating seeing it more in depth from the inside - especially when you're damned if you do - damned if you don't. I saw on another forum someone playing the party blame game "This wouldn't be happening if partyX was in control". All I can say to that is a big ole' "B-S". This isn't a party issue. It's a personality issue. An issue of forgetting - or never even caring - why you are elected in the first place. There is blame on both sides and nothing is going to change unless the desire for complete control is abandoned.
  13. Yes access is still there. (I know you've seen the statements from Margeson regarding this but wanted to make sure to answer it) 😉 100% agree.
  14. If you've haven't had a chance to see what occurred at the meeting last night, let me give a quick recap. On 1/8 we were informed by Chairman Margeson that due to the County Exec deciding to change the software being used to submit route slips to the legislature without consultation with the legislature and clerk, that we might not have an agenda for the 1/22 meeting. Margeson had planned that night to make a formal statment but due to the issues with the streaming system, he held off on the statment until last night. During the past two weeks, I have not said anything in hopes that maybe, just maybe, this power struggle could be resolved. I know - a little naive of me, right? But out of respect to the leadership of the Legislature, I sat back. Last week, each member of the legislature received an email from the Exec with a statement from him regarding this issue and giving his side to the story. We also recieved all the route slips and needed information for each. Then we received our normal email from the clerk that the agenda had been upload to Novus. But - it was all blank. My thought was, ok, a compromise has been reached. We have the information for the 1/22 meeting. There was a glitch with Novus. THEN last night happened. The Chairman in passing said he did not receive the email from the Exec. During the opening of the meeting, he gave his statment. I was thrown off because, again, naive assumptions by me thinking we were going to be able to do our job. So - where I'm at. I have a he said/she said side of the story concerning the software so I can not confidently know where the real disconnect has occurred. I see a constant power struggle between the branches that I had been hopeful of seeing progress made given a better starting relationship between the Exec and Chairman. I see the Exec undermining what is considered the legislative workings due to what he has seen as the legislature undermining/trying to control his areas. I see the logic in the leadership of the legislature to not "give in" on this issue because of past events but have the frustration /anger of not being able to do our job because neither is willing to compromise. Truth is, this software could be a zillion times better but since no effort was made to involve the legislature in this process, a process that is set in place by the legislature to ensure a smooth transfer of information for making the needed decisions, we are now where we are. I fully believe in the transparency of government, but do believe some conversations need to happen behind closed doors. I do believe this is an issue that the public needs to be made aware of while respecting that every detail of every conversation does not need to be made public. Out of respect for the leadership of the legislature and honestly, because I don't want to cause more harm than good with this, I did not speak out at last night's meeting. There is nothing I could have said to change what was happening. I am fully prepared to be blasted for not saying or doing something. I already have been. Part of this is deciding what fight to fight. I will not speak out/fight when I am not confident of the facts that I have been given and I will not make enemies of those I need to stand with me regarding other matters. I am frustrated with the leadership in not finding some compromise. I respect that they have been talking to the Exec regarding this and if there was a compromise to be had, they would have done so. I can see all sides to this. My last statment on this matter: we need our Exec to be open to listening and taking ideas and suggestions that are not his own. To understand not everyone is out to undermine his leadership. That this county is a partnership of the Exec, Legislature, and the people for the good of the people.
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