Candidates Interested In Open City Council Seat

There is an increased interest in representing the citizens of the city of Jamestown.

Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, said more people, 10 to be exact, are interested in filling the vacant seat on the Jamestown City Council than the three previous times he has nominated someone to the position. Whether it is an increased interest in political discourse or more people are eligible for the position, Teresi doesn’t know the reason, but knows it is good for the city.

“The previous three occasions where I had to nominate someone for the council to vote to approve, we didn’t have anywhere near this level of interest or enthusiasm,” Teresi said.

“I don’t know why, but I think it is a good thing. There is a lot more interest from people wanting to get engaged in plotting the future course of the city. That wasn’t the case the three previous times. We found good people, but from a much, much smaller pool.”

The first timee Teresi had to nominate someone to the council was in February 2013 when Vince DeJoy resigned from his Ward 4 seat to be the development director for the city. Teresi nominated Marie Carrubba, who is now the council’s president, to fill the empty position.

In 2014, Teresi had to fill an empty Ward 3 seat when Tamara Dickey resigned from the position after receiving a new job that required her to travel more often. Teresi selected the Rev. Alfonso Pagan to replace Dickey, who lost his first election attempt to Vickye James in 2015.

In 2015, Teresi choose Tom Nelson to replace Paul Whitford, who had to resign after moving out of the Ward 6. Nelson still represents the ward known as Willard Heights.

This time there is an open seat on the council because Vanessa Weinert resigned her At-Large seat last month due to personal reasons. Because it’s an At-Large seat, Teresi can select a member of the Democratic party from the whole city, which is different than having to pick a candidate from a particular ward.

Also, according to the city’s charter, the mayor has to select a nominee from the same party as the person who resigned the seat on the council.

“I’m not limiting the search to Democrats because of a partisan agenda. I have to because that is what is in the charter,” he said. “The folks stepping forth are all registered to the Democratic party. There have been several good people stepping forward. I’m confident all could do the job and would want to seek election for a full term. There are several good viable candidates, but only one open position.”

Teresi said he is not looking for someone with experience on the council or a fresh face for the empty seat on the council.

“I have no agenda from a gender standpoint or an ethnic standpoint or a generational standpoint. I’m just trying to find someone who loves this city like the rest of us do who are serving and is ready, willing and able to put the time and energy into it. Someone who can leave their partisan and personal agenda checked at the door and work with the other council members for the good of the city. I’m not proceeding ahead with requirements like a certain number of years under their belt or someone with a fresh face. I’m looking for the best person, period.”

Teresi said he hopes to have the process of interviewing all 10 of the candidates completed by the council’s Jan. 28 voting session meeting. At that time, if Teresi has a nominee ready to fill the vacant seat, the council can choose to vote on the nomination.