Amherst Chamber of CommerceAmherst Chamber of Commerce

2012 Legislative Agenda


An important aspect of being a leadership organization for business interests is having the influence to impact public policy, especially on issues that potentially have a positive or negative impact on business operations. Each year, the Amherst Chamber of Commerce's Public Affairs Council drafts an agenda to guide the Chamber's public policy initiatives and actions for the coming year.


In keeping with tradition, the Council presented their 2012 Legislative Agenda at the end of January at the Chamber's Annual Luncheon and State of the Town Address. Council chairman Earl Wells, III of e3communications addressed the crowd and provided a general overview of the Council's priorities for the year. For 2012, the council took a different approach for the agenda. Instead of breaking items down by government level, the agenda was organized by industry sector.


This year, the Council will be focusing on legislative issues affecting economic development, energy and manufacturing, health care and education. The following 11 items have been vetted and endorsed by the Public Affairs Council as priority issues for 2012:


  • Economic Development
    • WNY Economic Development Council Strategic Plan
    • Boarder Crossings
    • Adaptive Re-Use
    • County-Wide Building Codes
    • Consolidation of Town Services/Departments
  • Energy/Manufacturing
    • WNY Proceeds Legislation and the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees
    • Marcellus Shale
    • Brownfields
  • Health Care
    • Health Insurance Exchanges
    • Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
  • Education
    • UB2020


While the above items are those that the Council and Chamber will focus on for 2012, the Chamber, from time to time may make public its views on various policy items that may arise. Elected officials at all levels of government often look to the Chamber for its position on critically important issues. The Chamber works closely with its local representatives to provide feedback on the policies that affect its members. The Council and chamber leadership reviews each issue with one thing in mind - how it contributes to creating a positive climate for business growth and economic development locally, nationally and globally.


The Public Affairs Council is made up of a diverse group of individuals from a wide range of industry sectors. Members for 2012 are: Ed Berowski, Get Notice Promotions; Jack Colocousis, Corporate Training Services; James Cutler, AXA Advisors; Ed Damico, National Fuel Gas; Rick Glogowski, Realty USA; Jonathan Hager, The Home Depot; Stewart Haney, WENDEL; Michael Hughes, Kaleida Health; Kenneth Jagodzinski, Verizon; Steve Lelinski, Key Bank; Dan Locche, Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors; Susan Marchione, Daemen College; Penny Morgante, First Niagara Bank; Mike Pietkiewicz, University at Buffalo; Kimberly Muncie, Speed Global Services; Roberta Rifkin, Independent Health; Suzie Rivo Solender, Solender Services; Christie Rothschild, MJ Peterson Relocation; Megan Toohey, University at Buffalo; and Dominic Vivolo, RBC Wealth Management.


For more information on the Public Affairs Council or to join, please visit their page on our website or email To view the 2012 Legislative Agenda, please click here.



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