Rabb Left ‘Speechless’

After Chautauqua County legislators blocked Chuck Cornell from taking Fred Larson’s empty District 12 seat last week, Jamestown City Council President Gregory Rabb said he was “speechless and appalled.”

Ten legislators voted against Cornell, D-Jamestown, leaving many in shock after he was nominated by the Democratic Committee.

“There’s no valid reason for the legislature to deny Chuck that seat,” Rabb said. “I don’t care which party the people are who voted ‘no,’ it was just plain wrong. I’m a resident of District 12, and I’m on the committee that recommended him.”

District 12 covers areas of Jamestown’s north side, north of east Second Street and east of North Main Street, and has been without a county representative since Larson took his position as Jamestown’s second city court judge in April.

“Not only does it leave me without representation, but my neighbors too,” Rabb said. “The denial also means a big hunk of the city that I represent at large doesn’t have representation at the county level. Don’t cut my city out of being represented, and don’t cut me out of being represented unless you have a valid reason, and no one has cited one valid reason for this.”

Of Larson’s new title, Rabb said he was well-qualified to fill the city court judge position, but his empty seat is cause for concern.

In the meantime, the Democratic Committee continues to consider prospective candidates for the position.

Norm Green, party chairman, said he had spoken with Jay Gould, R-Ashville, and chairman of the legislature.

“He has sent us a message asking us to meet as soon as possible and has offered to call a special meeting when we have a name,” Green said. “At this point in time, the city committee is determining when it will meet again.”

He declined to comment when asked whether the party had chosen any new, prospective representatives for the seat.

Until another Democratic Party member is chosen and approved by the legislature, the District 12 seat will remain empty.

A general election will take place in November to fill the seat for the second part of a two-year term.