Sunday, October 19, 2014

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Sherman Shop Closure Sparks Social Media Campaign

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Buffalo: Sherman Shop Closure Sparks Social Media Campaign
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It's caused a social media frenzy. Chautauqua County is closing down part of the facilities shop in Sherman. YNN's Mark Goshgarian reports on the effort to keep it open and the impact the move will have on the community.

SHERMAN, N.Y. — After more than thirty years, the public facilities shop in Sherman is closing, but only during the summer and construction season. The shop will reopen in the winter for snowplowing.

"So services can be maintained and improved, costs can be reduced and we can have a more efficient operation and that's the driver behind this change," said Greg Edwards, (R) Chautauqua County Executive.

County officials decided to consolidate operations following the retirement of the shops district superintendent.

Employees will be reassigned to other shops, including the one in Falconer.

"There's no layoffs; this is just changing where people report to work," said Edwards.

The change has generated several angry comments on Facebook.

"I believe they should not just shut down the shop because one single employee retired," said Deanna Goodwill, Sherman resident.

Goodwill's husband works in the department, and she's one of 156 who like the Save the Sherman County Shop page. She says workers should stay in Sherman and maintain the local roads year round.

"Continue to have the employees be able to help the businesses in Sherman by going there and buying gas, and eat in their restaurants," said Goodwill.

"Most of the concern is based on misinformation, unfortunately generated in large part from this Facebook page," said Edwards.

Edwards and others say they're frustrated with the information being posted.

"This site does not give us an opportunity to return, reply whatever type of communications we are interested in communicating with them, the facts," said George Spanos, County Public Faculties Director.

To add fuel to the Facebook fire, county officials are also exploring the idea of selling the shop and using the proceeds to refurbish and add to its existing facility right across the street.

"And function from one side of the road versus having to function from both sides of the road, but we've always stated the Sherman shop will function," said Spanos.

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