Contested Race For City Council Ward 3

Robert Reedy II

Editor’s note: This is the first in a six-part series featuring the candidates running for the Jamestown City Council.

The contested race for the Jamestown City Council Ward 3 seat is between incumbent Regina Brackman, who was appointed to the council earlier this year after the death of Vickye James, against Robert Reedy II, local business owner. Brackman has been endorsed by the Democratic Party and Reedy has been endorsed by the Republican and Conservative parties. Each candidate was asked the same four questions. Below are their responses.

Question 1: Do you think the city’s proposed American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Recovery Funds Master Plan is the best way to spend the $28 million Jamestown will receive in federal stimulus funding? If you do, why is this the best way to spend the funding? If you don’t, what would you change or add to the plan?

Brackman: There is still much discussion to be held regarding the spending of the ARP funds. The public has spoken on how they would like to see those funds used. Everyone has an opinion, and I have mine and I hope we can come to an agreement that we will use those funds for the betterment of the city. Jamestown is a very diverse community, and I would like to see an allocation of those funds used in communities that typically would not see or receive that type of assistance. I would like to see funds used to assist our senior homeowners with needed home repairs to improve their quality of life and I would like to see the funds used for programs that will benefit our youth, they are the future. I would also like to see funds used to assist with startup businesses in the city that would include the minority population.

Reedy: My opinion on the recovery funds are a lot of different ideas. My main concern is urban renewal and public safety. For example enforcing codes for landlords to help maintain or enforce the upkeep of their properties, public safety by spending money on better staffing our police and equipment for our police and fire departments so our agencies are not so short-handed, and our community is brought back to the motto protect and serve.

Regina Brackman

Question 2: Should the city of Jamestown opt in or out of allowing cannabis dispensaries and consumption sites?

Brackman: I think we need to clearly understand the program and the benefits for allowing dispensaries and consumption sites and how those will be governed and licensed. We also need to understand the tax laws and how, and if, that will benefit the city as incoming revenue. I believe that currently the sale of marijuana is still illegal, and people are being charged daily only to be released to resume business. Unfortunately, it is a business or activity that will occur regardless if we opt in or out.

Reedy: In reference to the cannabis dispensaries I would prefer to opt out for now until more planning and research has been made available. I also feel that, even though there may be revenue for the city, is it going to show a profitable revenue and where, if any, profits are acquired where will it be used – policing and drug education would be preferred

Question 3: With the Jamestown City Council voting down a proposal to operate a controlled deer hunt to curtail the population of deer in the city, what should be the next step taken by the council to try to control the deer population in the city?

Brackman: The controlled deer hunt proposal needs to better define how public safety will be enforced regarding the hours and duration of the hunt. It needs to define who will control the hunt, our police department does not have the resources to monitor who is authorized to hunt and if they are hunting during the approved time. The locations where the hunts will take place need to be determined. Many of the parks proposed have pedestrian activity during the proposed hours of the hunt. Also, the liability of the hunt, who will be held responsible in the unlikely injury or death of a participant, pedestrian or pet?

Reedy: In reference to the deer population I am in a sense to agree with the harvest, but I’ve also researched the immune contraception, and I’m concerned with the retrieval of the darts that are injecting. According to studies, the dart retrieval is 95%, so where is the other 5% being controlled for our children and overall public safety. Also, this harvest program has not been totally approved by other New York state official agencies. I believe we should put a plan into action and look into the (birth control) PZP (injection) logistics and requirements.

Question 4: Should the city of Jamestown have a Local Preservation Ordinance? If you believe Jamestown should have one, why? If you don’t think Jamestown should have one, why not?

Brackman: There are numerous structures within the city of Jamestown and if assistance can be provided to help restore those dwellings, I think it will be a good look for the city and our neighborhoods. This is a subject that is still in the development stage and more discussions are needed to establish the appropriate approach to take. Although restoration and improvements will be desired, we need to make sure that we are not restricting the vision the owner of the property may have.

Reedy: In reference to our local preservation ordinance I believe we should try and keep as much history in Jamestown as possible. That is what this city was built on and there is a lot of proud history here. Should owners of those buildings be responsible for the upkeep? Absolutely. Just as if it was occupied, if you own it you’re responsible to keep it environmentally and publicly safe. The same goes for the residential property owners and landlords who should keep their properties maintained. I understand the federal government has made it hard when people don’t have to pay rent, but the properties still should not look like a county landfill site.


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