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Teresi Receives State Award For Government Service

Mayor Sam Teresi and Canandaigua Mayor Ellen Polimeni received the John H. Galligan Award from the New York Conference of Mayors earlier this month. The John H. Galligan Award is NYCOM’s most prestigious honor that is given to municipal officials in recognition of their career dedication to local government service. Submitted photo

Jamestown’s mayor has been recognized not only for his more than three decades of service to the city, but also for his role to improve local government across the state.

Earlier this month, Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, received the John H. Galligan Award from the New York Conference of Mayors. The John H. Galligan Award is NYCOM’s most prestigious honor that is periodically given to municipal officials in recognition of their career dedication to local government service.

Peter Baynes, NYCOM executive director, said he has known Teresi for 20 years and said Jamestown’s mayor has not only improved his own municipality, but has assisted city and village leaders throughout the state to enhance their local governments.

“He was past president of NYCOM, but even when he was no longer president, he was still very much engaged,” Baynes said. “In this particular instance, labor relations is something we leaned on for Sam’s knowledge. His passion for local government he shared with staff and membership at-large. He was a tremendous benefit to village and city government leaders across the state. With him leaving office, we thought (presenting the Galligan Award was the) perfect way to honor him.”

Baynes said the Galligan award has been awarded since 2009, which was created to celebrate the 100th annual meeting of NYCOM. He said the award is not given annual. He added that earlier this month when Teresi and Ellen Polimeni, Canandaigua mayor, received the Galligan Award, they were the ninth and 10th recipients of the award.

“When someone is leaving, like a retirement or at other times, we feel like this person needs a special recognition,” Baynes said.

Baynes said Galligan was an employee for NYCOM for around 40 years. Galligan was a labor relations manager who was highly regarded across the state for his expertise.

“He was an institution here,” Baynes said about Galligan. “When he passed away, we as staff wanted to create an award in his name.”

Baynes said the recipient of the award doesn’t have to be a mayor or an elected official. He said past recipients have been village clerks and state employees.

“The primary criteria is someone who works in government and participates with NYCOM, and that their experience not only has a positive impact on their own community, but has an impact statewide on issues of local government,” Baynes said. “Sam’s running theme was his passion for local government and local home rule. He believed local government and local residents should make the decisions that effect local communities. Not the state and federal government. That is one of the core reasons we gave the award to Sam. Not just for caring about his own community, which Sam obviously does, but for caring about all government through local home rule.”

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