Niagara County Legislator Jesse Gooch today said he would seek re-election to continue representing the 7th Legislative District, which includes parts of Wheatfield and North Tonawanda. He is the endorsed candidate of the Republican and Conservative committees.
“County government is really about providing important services to the public in so many different ways,” said Gooch, who is Chairman of the Community Services Committee. “And never has that been more apparent than during the pandemic. We were able to maintain our level of service and because of years of good fiscal management, we were still able to keep our budget under the property tax cap. That’s what our residents expect.”
Throughout the pandemic, Gooch led an effort called “Meals from the Heart from Six Feet Apart,” to provide drive-thru dinners to senior citizens. The weekly events were a huge hit. “It became a way, at a time of great isolation and social distancing, for people of the community to feel connected to each other in some small way,” said Gooch. “It resonated that we were all in this together and would get through the dark time together.”
Gooch said the county must now focus on helping small businesses rebuild post-pandemic and getting people back to work. “As a small business owner, I was able to weather the storm in decent fashion, but I know how devastating the last year has been for many, so I believe we must do some kind of grant program with the federal stimulus money to help small businesses get back on their feet,” said Gooch. “We can’t forget that these are the businesses that put the vast majority of people to work.”
Gooch has been a leading advocate for bringing transparency to county government and believes great progress has been made in that regard. “We are now livestreaming our meetings so anyone in Niagara County can watch the Legislature in action and all of those meetings are archived for future viewing,” said Gooch. “The County is also much more active on social media as well, promoting the many program and opportunities that are available for residents.”
Gooch said he looks forward to running on his record and meeting many more voters as he goes door to door throughout the spring and summer. “I’m not a politician, I’m somebody who believes you step forward and run for office to make a difference, even if that sounds a little old-fashioned,” said Gooch. “And hopefully the voters will decide I’ve done a good job and continue to support me.”