Kathleen Gorr said she has three priorities if elected to represent District 9 on the Cayuga County Legislature: water quality, road maintenance and public safety.
A resident of the town of Niles, Gorr will appear on the ballot in November under the Democratic and Independence party lines and an independent line, Fix Our Roads. Her opponent is Republican Charles Ripley.
Gorr currently serves on the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency as a representative for the Skaneateles Lake Association. As such, she said one of her primary goals as a legislator would be to protect local bodies of water by bringing local residents, businesses and farmers together to keep them informed.
"I would like the approach of getting people together, giving them information and saying, 'Here's how you can help,' as opposed to mandates," Gorr said. "But when we get people together, we have to tell them things. We have to give them the lab results and information."
In addition to her work on the water quality management agency, Gorr also sits on the Zoning Board of Appeals in Niles. A retired attorney, she also continues to conduct arbitration for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority part time.
A native of Rochester, Gorr said she moved around quite a bit before settling back in New York 10 years ago — she lived in Illinois, Massachusetts, Kansas and Nebraska before discovering Niles with her husband. Gorr said her nomadic lifestyle brings a unique perspective to local government, as she has seen how other counties work as well.
"I think I bring a different viewpoint to the table and it's very good to have a legislature with people from different backgrounds, different viewpoints, different experience and a different knowledge base," she said.
Gorr said she specifically gained knowledge and exposure to road maintenance while living in different states. If elected, she plans to also focus on fixing roads that were damaged by flooding in southern Cayuga County.
"I think government should look at key government functions first like roads and public safety ... and make the area as hospitable and habitable as they reasonably can," she said. "I'd like to help with improving the roads, making sure that industries like fracking do not come here and provide people more efficient government. I feel very strongly that taxpayers need to get something for their money."