City Residents Will Vote For Three Contested City Council Seats
There are three contested Jamestown City Council seats up for grabs on Election Day.
On Tuesday, residents in Ward 1, known as the College Ward, will choose between Tara Hall and Brent Sheldon. Hall is running for the Democratic and Independent Taxpayers parties. Sheldon is running on the Republican and Conservative lines. The incumbent from Ward 1, Stephen Szwejbka, did not seek re-election.
In Ward 3, known as the Chadakoin Ward, voters will select between Regina Brackman and Tamara Dickey. Brackman is on the Democratic Party line while Dickey is on the Republican and Conservative party tickets. Incumbent Michael Taylor also chose not to run for re-election.
In Ward 4, known as the Bergman Ward, Marie Carrubba is running against Richard Elardo. Earlier this year, Carrubba was appointed to City Council after former councilman Vince DeJoy was selected to be the city’s development director. Carrubba is on the Democratic, Working Families and Independence partylines. Elardo is running on the Republican and Conservative party tickets.
The Post-Journal asked each candidate running in a contested race two questions about wanting to be elected to City Council, and below are their responses.
The Post-Journal: What is something being done or has been completed in your ward you were proud to see happen?
Hall: I am proud to see how many homeowners have taken advantage of the Neighborhood Revitalization Programs (Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, Grow Jamestown, Northside Pride and Neighborhood Watch). As city councilwoman, I would work to find additional resources to support homeowners with investing in their homes and neighborhoods.
Sheldon:Ward 1 is called the College Ward with Jamestown Community College being close to the center of the ward. I am very proud of the capital projects that have been completed there in recent years. The new science building is state of the art and was built with green technology and is extremely energy efficient. The biotechnology program is attracting students from all over the state with cutting-edge technology. And the new dorms are attractive and allow students to live on campus and contribute to the local economy.
Brackman: I am proud to see that there is progress being made in many areas within the ward. Some of my observations include: the recent roadwork that was completed on Prather and Broadhead avenues and on Eighth Street; the opening of several small businesses such as Southern BBQ, Buzzerto and Marco’s Pizza, and the employment opportunities within the community they present. There also was development within the Save-A-Lot Plaza on Fluvanna Avenue, the playground project at Roseland Park, the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk and the completion and opening of the Gateway Train Station, which will now be the polling location for residents in the Third Ward. From my standpoint, this is just the beginning of improvements within the Third Ward and the city of Jamestown. We have so much further to go, and I look forward to working towards more improvements within the ward.
Dickey: I have been extremely proud of the sidewalk project (under Steve Centi’s previous leadership in the development office) to aid our seniors in wheelchairs and children in strollers/on bikes. However, the project should be offered to more of the Ward 3 streets which still suffer some challenges. Ward 3 residents use sidewalk travel as a common mode of transportation to school and to places of business. In the winter, this can be quite dangerous too.
Carrubba: As a first-term City Council member, the most significant accomplishment and proudest moments would be the work done on infrastructure in the Fourth Ward. The repair of West Third Street between Hall to McDaniel and McDaniel to Fairmount avenues was long overdue. I was concerned about public safety as drivers attempted to dodge all the potholes that it could end up causing an accident. Upon being apprised of the situation, I spoke with Jeff Lehman, director of Public Works, and Mayor (Sam) Teresi, and with their efforts, was able to convince the state Department of Transportation to make this happen so quickly. I would be remiss if I also didn’t mention the milling and paving of Hallock Street between Third Street and Newland Avenue, and the installation of better drainage to handle the excess water runoff which has been an ongoing issue for residents of that area. Next year’s city budget also includes significant funds to further address the water issues on the west side of Jamestown.
Elardo: I like the city’s initiative to protect the tree canopy along Third Street. That is a beautiful area that needs to be around for many more generations to enjoy. The changes made to Veterans Park are absolutely beautiful too.
The Post-Journal: If you could change one thing about your ward, what would it be?
Hall: The condition of neglected rental properties, vacant buildings and condemned properties. As city councilwoman for Ward 1, I would demand that action be taken to address the problem of neglected property in the city.
Sheldon: Ward 1 has been historically the most industrial ward in Jamestown with various factories. But many of the factories have closed, moved, been demolished or remain vacant. Many good paying jobs have been lost and families have been forced to move out of the area to locate new employment. I will work to encourage businesses to return or start in industrial areas and on campus or within one mile of Jamestown Community College with the ”Start-Up NY” initiative.
Brackman: If I could change one thing within the Third Ward it would be public safety. This is a concern with many of the residents I talked with throughout the ward. Several of the residents have expressed the need for more police presence within the community to help deter vandalism, illegal drug activity, to help enforce speed limits and the restriction of oversized vehicles on the side streets within their neighborhoods. Another concern expressed was streetlights; many neighborhoods do not have sufficient streetlights or working streetlights which poses a safety concern as well.
Dickey: The abandoned housing situation presents significant concern for Ward 3 residents. Jobs, new businesses and abandoned housing are listed as the first tasks on my bucket list if elected on (Tuesday). This was derived from my lunch-and-learn campaign events I hosted.
Carrubba: I would like to see residents become more involved and attend council meetings to express their views and concerns. In walking through the neighborhoods and talking with residents, I have been encouraged by the many creative ideas they have to resolve issues affecting the city, however, they aren’t brought to the attention of the City Council. As a council member, I will ensure that their voices are heard and I believe that by joining together we can all make Jamestown an even better place to live and work.
Elardo: I’d like to see better upkeep of Bergman Park. I walk my dog there and a lot of the drinking fountains don’t work. Perhaps even a Riverwalk-like trail or path system through the park.
Uncontested races include incumbents Anthony Dolce in Ward 2; Maria Jones in Ward 5; Paul Whitford in Ward 6; and at-large candidates Kimberly Ecklund, Gregory Rabb and George Spitale.