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Vickye James’ Passing Leaves Hole In Lives Of Her Family, In Our City

The Jamestown community was shocked to learn of the recent sudden passing of Vickye James.

Tributes have poured in in the wake of James’ passing noting her warm, open nature to those who needed help, her deep involvement in her church, her work with children as Jamestown’s Youth Bureau director and her civic involvement as a Chautauqua County legislator and Jamestown City Council member.

All of those things are true.

But perhaps the biggest hole James’ passing leaves is her perspective on the City Council. James is very much cut from the same cloth as Vivian Taylor, the longtime Ward 3 representative on the City Council. Like Taylor, some of James’ most important work was done when the council wasn’t in session — answering constituent concerns, advocating for her ward to recieve its share of dollars the city had to spend on road work and infrastructure and marshaling the city’s resources to projects that benefitted her constituents, like the Jackson-Taylor Park upgrades which James worked on for several years.

Most elected officials work hard to represent their constituents. In Ward 3, however, James’ role was different. She acted as a community conscience on the council — much like Taylor did during his lengthy tenure. Also like Taylor, James picked her spots, which lent gravitas to the point she made when she spoke out publicly.

Vickye James’ passing leaves a hole in the lives of her family and friends. It also leaves a hole in our city.

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