OLEAN, NY – As Cattaraugus County Legislator John Padlo nears the end of his third and final term in that office, he believes he has held true to values learned at home in Olean and honed during his years as a student at St. Bonaventure University.
His main focus has been to serve the needs of the people.
“When I got elected to office, I had an agenda, but it wasn’t a political agenda," Padlo, a Democrat representing District 8, said. "My agenda was working and doing what was in the best interest of the people.”
And that agenda of helping people and keeping the interests of others before his own was something Padlo learned growing up in what he termed a "political" household. His father, the late Joseph F. Padlo, served 30 years in public office, first as an alderman, then on the former Cattaraugus County Board of Supervisors, and then on the county legislature. His mother was the late Anna F. Padlo.
“The university and the Franciscan spirit have always been with me,” he said. “But growing up in a household where politics was always at the forefront, my mother and my father have always taught me the importance of helping people out, especially those who were less fortunate.”
Padlo recalled that during his 12 years in the legislature, he helped ensure proper financing for the sheriff’s department operations and helped determine necessary road work.
And he is proud to note he helped keep the Pines Healthcare & Rehabilitation Facilities in Machias and Olean as county operations.
“At one time the county explored options as both of our nursing homes were not generating a profit," Padlo said.
Constituents feared that if those nursing homes were sold, the quality of healthcare would be lowered and operations would become more about profit, Padlo said, and he credited nursing home directors, county administrators and community members for the success in keeping the Pines campuses in business.
The solution, he said, was the use of an intergovernmental transfer, which required the county to spend about $2 million dollars to get $4 million in return.
Deputy County Administrator Kelly Reed explained that the intergovernmental transfer program "provides Medicaid rate enhancements to all non-state operated publicly owned nursing homes.” Working with the state of New York to spread funds to the county-run nursing homes, each county must pay half of what they intend to receive from the federal government.
Padlo, the Minority Whip, was honored on Dec. 11, along with two other county legislators whose terms also are ending: Chairman James J. Snyder (Republican, District 8) and Republican Majority Leader Donna Vickman (District 3).
Padlo said he hopes his successor keeps in mind that the role of legislator is to be a voice of the people.
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