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Council To Discuss Car Show Tonight

Pictured is a notice distributed to houses neighboring Bergman Park.

The Jamestown City Council will discuss a car show generating controversy on the city’s south side as well as the end of a $100 Housing Court fee during its meeting tonight.

The council’s Public Safety Committee has a busy night on its agenda for its 7 p.m. meeting. Discussion of the Los Contrincantes Car Club special event scheduled for Sept. 18 in Bergman Park is on the meeting agenda.

Residents who live near Bergman Park have received flyers in their mailboxes from an unnamed group asking neighbors to attend tonight’s council meeting. They are pushing City Council members to either move the show or to cancel it altogether. The flyer asks Ward 4 residents to sign a petition opposing the show and to attend the meeting.

“All Ward 4 residents and any others opposed to this event need to read up on what some of our representatives have done,” the notice states. “Please show up at the meeting. … And yet, the Labor Day Festival is cancelled.”

The Los Contricantes Car Club has similarly put out a request on its Facebook page to have its supporters attend tonight’s meeting while asking for support with an online petition. The club’s petition has been signed by 200 people as of Friday morning.

“It would be nice to have supporters of the club attend this meeting and let your voice be heard — this is the only way to make a difference. We have done so much for the Jamestown community, now its your turn to do for us. Hope to see many of you there,” the car club posted on Thursday.

Also on the agenda is a resolution to repeal the city’s mandatory $100 administrative fee for Housing/Code Enforcement Court. According to the resolution, the state Unified Court System has ruled that the fee is a second punishment on those in the Housing Court system and that the additional fee makes it difficult for the court to institute other penalties available under the law.

“This fee largely went uncollected, with most Housing Court defendants ignoring it and waiting to pay their taxes until they were sent to the county, who wiped such fees out and only sought to collect the actual property tax and any late-payment punishments,” Crystal Surdyk, city development director, wrote in a memo to Mayor Eddie Sundquist included in the City Council’s agenda packet. “Furthermore, the New York State Unified Court System has found these mandatory fees to essentially be “double-dipping” and as a result have limited the city’s ability to pursue other legally authorized punishments in Housing Court, limiting the effectiveness of proceedings in those courts. In essence, the city may not collect both this administration fee and fines.”

The fees had largely only been paid if the defendant in Housing Court was a large bank. Rather than the administrative fee, the court will levy fines, which are easier to collect than the administrative fees. The council’s Housing Committee meets at 6:45 p.m. in the police training room, with discussion to include an update on Housing Court cases.

The Public Safety and Finance committees will discuss a school resource officer at Jamestown High School. The Jamestown Public Schools District will pay $109,479.79 for the officer’s 10 months working in the school while the city will pay $22,059.80 to pay the officer during the two months of summer vacation when the officer works out of City Hall.

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