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DeJoy Announces Retirement As City Director Of Development

Vince DeJoy has retired as Jamestown development director, effective today. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

A city official who has worked nearly 12 years is retiring.

Vince DeJoy, city development director, has stated in a letter to Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, that he is retiring, with his last day as development director today.

DeJoy was first a Jamestown City Councilman for Ward 4 from 2008 to February 2013. In February 2013, DeJoy was named as development director by Teresi following the retirement of Steve Centi.

“Well its been an honor and a privilege the last 11 years as a councilman and as the director of development to serve the city,” he said. “I’m extremely proud of the progress as a community we have made in the last six and half years, especially in downtown Jamestown and with what we’re trying to do in the neighborhoods. When I came I promised aggressive collaboration with agencies involved in economic development, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished.”

DeJoy said the project he is most proud of was the city being the first in Western New York to receive $10 million through the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative program.

“It was me leading the team (of several community organizations). We put together an application that’s being used as the benchmark others are judged by,” he said. “We were able to take those funds granted and turned them into great projects.”

DeJoy said other projects include the extension of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk, the installation of the two pedestrian bridges connecting the northshore and southshore of the Riverwalk along the Chadakoin River behind the National Comedy Center, two Restore New York state grants and a zombie house grant.

“We’ve done more than $3 million in demolitions. There has been about 125 demolitions. We’re trying to remove as much blight as we can,” he said. “In 2019, I’m trying to finish as many as possible of the 35 demolitions we’re currently involved in doing.”

DeJoy said he will be transitioning into the private sector as he has accepted a position with Safelite AutoGlass repair and replacement company.

He said Safelite has had a presence in replacing glass in the Jamestown area, but will soon have a business location along Livingston Avenue in West Ellicott.

“The journey began last spring when they replaced a window in my car. I received great customer service,” he said. “When I found out they were coming to Jamestown, I put in an application. It’s something new for me. A challenge I’m looking for to.”

Teresi said the work the development department has done in city neighborhoods is what he will remember most about DeJoy’s tenure.

“There has been a tremendous amount of effort in neighborhoods with an aging housing stock and high-level of poverty in the community,” he said. “I would look at going against the tide of dealing with the removal of the worse of the worse housing out there with the resources available through both the federal and state governments, and with additional funding in city budget. Through code enforcement, we were able to get property owners to abide by the rules.”

Teresi said for the rest of the year Crystal Surdyk, city principal planner, will coordinate the development department until mayor-elect Eddie Sundquist takes over control of city government. Teresi said DeJoy will continue to help city officials during the remainder of the year to finish ongoing development projects.

“Vince has agreed to stay on, obviously in conjunction with the demands of his new employer, with any time he has,” Teresi said. “He has agreed to stay on and close out several projects. He will be paid on an hourly basis, with no benefits. That was very generous of Vince to agree to and very much appreciated with Crystal overseeing the day-to-day operations and Vince closing out several projects he was working on. I’m confident we will keep things moving in a positive and right direction.”

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