The County Legislature’s Planning and Economic Development Committee approved a resolution for the Memorandum of Understanding and the County Legislature is set to vote on the resolution. The Memorandum of Understanding is the next step to the creation of the proposed “Chautauqua Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District.”
The Chautauqua County Libertarian Party opposes the formation of this Lake District. The creation of this district is just another attempt to raise taxes, increase bureaucracy, and create more political appointee positions with no accountability to lake property owners.
Any time the government attempts to centralize authority, it removes accountability from property owners and stakeholders. One supposed solution is that conflicts between different lake groups would cease when this new central authority is created. However, the Lake District proposal also indicates that these lake groups can partner with the central authority, implying that these different lake groups will still exist, which defeats the purpose of creating a central authority. This is essentially trying to get rid of a problem by keeping the problem and at the same time, adding another layer of bureaucracy to the county government.
Additionally, the prohibition of lawsuits among these groups not only eliminates an individual’s right to sue but also discourages accountability, which is better corrected in the justice system and not by an unelected board of government bureaucrats.
The lake is also owned by New York State, not Chautauqua County. “The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, for better or worse, is the central managing agency for Chautauqua Lake,” said Gerrit Cain, Secretary of the Chautauqua County Libertarian Party and candidate for Chautauqua County Legislator District 16. “Lakeshore property owners, the multiple interest groups, and the municipal leaders of the towns and villages on the lake can work together with the DEC for the best care and management of the lake.”
The creation of the district must be rejected to promote property rights and the free exchange of ideas. Individuals, not government bureaucrats, are best suited to cooperate with each other and determine the best practices and management strategies to better maintain Chautauqua Lake.