Councilwoman Resigns Due To Personal Reasons

A first-year Jamestown City Councilwoman has resigned due to personal reasons.

On Monday, Marie Carrubba, council president, announced that Vanessa Weinert had resigned from the nine-member council. Weinert was elected to office in November 2017, with her first year of a two-year term that started in January.

Carrubba said the resignation was effective Monday and that she was sadden by the news. She said Weinert had difficulties in recent months attending council meetings. She added the resignation letter was received Monday by Todd Thomas, city clerk and administrative services director.

Carrubba said the process for replacing Weinert on the council is for Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi to find a candidate that is in the same political party as Weinert, who is a Democrat. She said because Weinert was elected to one of the three At-Large position on the council that Teresi will be able to select any Democrat in the city.

When asked about potential candidates to replace Weinert, Carrubba said she had not heard any list of names as potential candidates. When Carrubba was asked if Greg Rabb, former member of the council who served 10 years as president from 2008 to 2017, was a possible candidate, she said it is too soon to speculate.

Once Teresi selects his candidate to replace Weinert, the council would have to approve the appointment. Teresi was not in attendance during Monday’s meeting because he was in Albany.

In other business, the council approved a snow and ice removal contract with Chautauqua County for the time period Nov. 1 through April 30, 2019.

Last month, Jeff Lehman, public works director, told the council’s Public Works Committee that there was a difference of opinion between city and county officials on how much the contract for removing snow and ice on county highways in the city should increase annually.

He said usually every three years the county and city agree on a new contract that includes a 5 percent annual increase in how much the county pays the city to maintain county highways during the winter in the city. However, in the latest negotiations between the city and county, Lehman said county officials are now asking for the annual increased payment to only be 3 percent.

Lehman on Monday said the new contract includes a 4 percent increase in what the city charges the county for snow and ice removal.

The council approved spending $137,897 on a trackless vehicle, which city officials primarily use for snow removal, but can also be used throughout the year.

Earlier this month, Lehman told the council that the “storm event of 2018” brought an end to one of four trackless vehicle machines the city owns. He said Public Works and Parks departments need these machines, which are used all year long. He added the machines are also used during leaf cleanup and, at times, brooms are attached to them to sweep sidewalks and streets as well.

The cost of the new trackless machine is more than the $43,000 city officials have left to spend in their contingency account. Teresi and Joseph Bellitto, city comptroller, said city officials will also have to use funds from the end of the year over/under account. The over/under account is when city officials calculate all the line items in the budget to figure out if they have revenues remaining at the end of the year or if they are in the red.

Earlier this month, Teresi said it has been estimated that city officials will have the remaining $95,000 after the over/under is calculated at the end of the year to purchase the trackless machine.

Lehman said on Monday this was a piece of equipment city officials had been looking to replace for a number of years.

“We’ve got a lot of equipment that needs replacing … it’s an important piece of equipment and it is an expensive piece of equipment,” he said.