Chautauqua County Mourns Loss of Former Legislator Jay Gould

Submitted by Justin Gould on Wed, 04/03/2024 - 11:30
file image

(L-R: Chautauqua County Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon, Former County Legislator Jay Gould and County Executive Paul M. Wendel Jr. FILE-December 21, 2022. Courtesy: WRFA-LP Radio)

MAYVILLE, NY – With heavy hearts and profound sorrow, we mourn the loss of longtime Chautauqua County former Legislator Frank Jay Gould, whose enduring legacy of dedicated public service leaves an indelible mark on our community.

Representing District 17, encompassing the towns of Clymer, Panama, Harmony, and Busti, Gould was a pillar of leadership and integrity throughout his 20+ consecutive years of service on the legislature, commencing in January 2000 until his retirement in 2022. His impact resonated far beyond his district, shaping policies and initiatives that propelled the county forward.

During his tenure, Gould, fondly referred to by his friends as Jay, was elected Chairman of the Legislature from 2012 to 2016. His dedication extended to various committees, including Human Services, Public Facilities, and Audit & Control, where his insights and expertise enriched deliberations and decisions.

Beyond legislative chambers, Gould's commitment to public service was evident through his involvement in numerous boards and authorities, including the Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board, Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District Board, and the Southern Tier Railroad Authority, among others. His multifaceted engagement underscored his holistic approach to community development and stewardship.

"Jay Gould's passing leaves a profound void in our hearts and in the fabric of Chautauqua County. His dedication to public service, unwavering integrity, and steadfast commitment to our community set an exemplary standard for us all," said Chautauqua County Executive Paul M. Wendel Jr. "As a farmer himself, Jay understood the vital importance of agriculture to our county's economy and way of life. His advocacy for our agricultural community was unparalleled, reflecting his deep-rooted passion for sustaining and nurturing our rural heritage. We mourn his loss deeply, but his legacy of service, leadership, and dedication will endure as a guiding light for generations to come."

file image

In his retirement speech in December 2022, Jay Gould imparted wisdom to his colleagues, reminding them of their fundamental responsibility to safeguard the interests of constituents. His words, "remember why you were sent up here. You were sent up here to watch your constituent’s money. That’s what you’re here for," resonate as enduring principles guiding public service.

Even after retiring, Gould remained an active contributor to the community and government, notably serving on the 2023 Salary Review Commission.

"Throughout his incredible and exemplary service to the County over the past 22 years, Jay has proven to be a source of wisdom, understanding, and insight. He worked tirelessly to serve the residents of Chautauqua County, leaving an indelible mark on our community," said Chautauqua County Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon. "Jay's dedication to public service and his unwavering commitment to bettering our county's future will be remembered and cherished by all who had the privilege of working alongside him."

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jay Gould's family, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time. May his memory serve as a beacon of inspiration, guiding us as we strive to honor his legacy through continued dedication to the welfare of Chautauqua County and its residents.

As a tribute to Gould's remarkable life and enduring legacy, flags at all county properties will be respectfully flown at half-staff.


News Categories