Chautauqua County’s leadership recognizes that if it is going to change its course and be competitive on the world stage, it needs to plan for the future. It is self-evident and has been recognized by others outside of the county that Chautauqua County is abundant in natural, built and human assets, but has reacted to market conditions rather than being proactive. To use an analogy, one might compare Chautauqua County to a football team that is stocked with talent, but has an ill-conceived game plan at best. It is hard to imagine competing favorably without a well-conceived game plan. You might compete at some level based on talent alone, but without a clever strategy you can only go so far. Furthermore, Chautauqua County has been remiss when it comes to identifying its core assets and in developing strategies to build upon those assets for future growth. Using the same football analogy, it would be like a football team that isn’t cognizant of its terrific passing attack as it continues to run the ball time and again to no avail. And then there is execution. Again, a game plan will only take you so far if you don’t rehearse, practice and execute it. 
The process used to develop this plan not only builds on existing and future assets, but has been developed based upon the values of the County’s citizens. This is not a plan that was “cooked up” in the back offices of the Department of Planning & Economic Development; rather, it has evolved through the coordinated input of a broad cross-section of the community. From the identification of issues, to visioning, to action, this plan represents the will of the citizens of Chautauqua County, culminating in an implementation strategy that recommends actions that are programmatic, policy-oriented and project-specific, and are to be implemented over the next 10 + years. We hope that this plan, Chautauqua 20/20, succeeds in capitalizing on our many assets to create jobs, lower the costs of existing services, and enhances the quality of life while preserving the rural charm of the County.
Mark Geise, Deputy Director
Chautauqua County Department of Planning & Economic Development