State Of The City Address Says All The Right Things; Now We Need Results

Mayor Sam Teresi’s 2017 State of the City message says much about Jamestown.

It provides a lengthy summary of the city’s 2016 activities and a discussion of goals the city wants to pursue in 2017 in a pair of documents that are posted with this editorial at

For example, the mayor includes some bold and concrete goals. Teresi is looking to advance development projects at the National Comedy Center, Robert H. Jackson Center, the microbrewery, restaurant and banquet operation in the former W.T. Grant Building; the former Key Bank building, the Furniture Mart Building, the Lucille Ball Little Theatre, help advance the master plan for the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, and finish the Hilton Double Tree Hotel and Meeting Center on Fourth Street. Those projects are the centerpiece of the city’s 2017 economic development agenda; deal with complaints about parking; advance cost-saving measures like an incentive program for Medicare-eligible city retirees and their dependents; and a massive capital infrastructure and equipment investment program to help replace the city’s failing underground infrastructure.

The message meets the requirements included in the city charter and is an interesting document for those who want to have a sense of what the city will do in the coming year. Yet, the message could have been so much more.

Last Monday’s message was an opportunity to provide more than a workmanlike rundown of Jamestown’s accomplishments and goals. The yearly message is an opportunity to state with a rhetorical flourish for its residents why Jamestown is in a good place despite negative headlines; a chance to inspire those who aren’t involved in the city’s governance through boards and commissions to get involved; to make the case to potential regional partners that Jamestown is moving in the right direction and make the case why the city and partners can help each other in the future.

We know what the city did in 2016. We know what it wants to do in 2017. Do we, after Monday’s message, really have a sense of the state of the city and of the city’s direction?