Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper reflects on her eight years of leadership

Local News

As Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper’s second term comes to a close, JET 24 Action News sat down with Dahlkemper to discuss her eight years of leadership.

Dahlkemper took officer as Erie County Executive in 2014. Eight years later, she says she believes Erie County is in a better place despite the COVID-19 pandemic. She says her administration was committed to economic development.

“Our community, in my opinion, is working together and better in more ways than it ever has before and that’s going to serve us well as there is a lot of money available for our community. We can, hopefully, continue to speak with one voice to Harrisburg and to Washington.” said Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County Executive.

During the final years of her second term, the COVID-19 pandemic began. She says through her administration and collaboration with the Health Department, Erie County implementing guidelines saved the lives of many.

“Being the County Executive truly has been the biggest honor of my professional life. I did serve in the U.S. Congress, but this is a much better position because you are so close to the people and the people of Erie County are great.” Dahlkemper said.

The County Executive says while she and her administration had a positive impact on the Erie community, she says the people of Erie County have left a lasting impression on her.

“Mostly, it’s about the people in this community who care. People are very much grounded and people who are not concerned about looks and all of those things. They’re really worried about doing good things.”

Dahlkemper says through going to 50 Erie businesses in 50 weeks, she met people that have helped her better understand the community and their needs.

“Working hard and trying to make a living and give other people the opportunity to make a living, it was really inspiring to see them. Then, when I meet the people who are struggling and knowing that county government is the entity that can often help them, and when we finds ways to help them, what a difference that makes in their life and that’s also inspiring. I truly believe that Erie is a very, very special place.” Dahlkemper said.

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She say she’s also proud of the newer radio system that was implemented at the 911 Center. She says this system will help generations to come.

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