A six-member panel is recommending an incremental increase in the salaries for both the mayor... and, city council members in Jamestown. The city's Salary Review Commission offered it's proposal to lawmakers at last night's work session. It includes an 18-thousand dollar annual increase for the mayor from 2016 through 2019... and, a one-thousand dollar increase for each Council member... beginning in 2016. Former Mayor Dick Kimball chaired the commission... and, says due to salary freezes... and, other reasons... many city employees now make more than the mayor now. Kimball says the last increase in the mayor's salary -- from 65-thousand to 72-thousand dollars a year -- was made in 2008. However... he says the city council never acted on the proposal made in 2012. As for city council... Kimball says that situation's been worse. Their last raise was in 31 years ago to the current 5-thousand dollars a year. If lawmakers approve... it would go to 6-thousand in 2016. Committee chairs would receive another 500-dollars... while the Council President would get an additional one-thousand dollars. If council approved for the "next" council and mayor... the mayoral increase would be 8-thousand dollars in 2016 to 80-thousand dollars a year. Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says debate is "warranted" on the salary issue... and, he expressed his desire to have a work session on the proposal sometime in January.
New York's governor says there is no agreement on a legislative pay hike because state lawmakers won't agree on campaign finance and ethics reforms. Lawmakers have suggested returning to Albany for a lame-duck session this month to give themselves a raise. They now make 79-thousand-500 for their part-time work, but haven't seen a raise in 14 years. Governor Andrew Cuomo said on public radio's ``Capitol Pressroom'' Monday that any pay hike should be accompanied by campaign finance and ethics changes. He says that so far, lawmakers have balked at the idea -- making the possibility of a special session less and less likely. Cuomo has suggested limiting lawmakers' outside income, instituting broad public campaign financing and prohibiting lawmakers from accepting work from groups who do business with the state.
Two people accused of dealing Heroin in Warren County are off the streets after being arrested Monday night by the Warren County Drug Task Force. The Warren Times Observer reports that Shauna Hanson and Shane Williams, both of Hemlock Road were arrested at seperate locations Monday evening and arraigned by video-conference before District Judge Daniel Miller. Both were taken to the Warren County Jail with bail set at 35 thousand dollars.
A former Jamestown City Councilman is set to be appointed to fill a vacancy on the Chautauqua County Legislature this week. Minority Leader Keith Ahlstrom says he expects Paul Whitford's appointment to fill the Legislature District 13 seat to pass without opposition. The Dunkirk Democrat says Whitford will replace Paula DeJoy... who resigned from the legsilature early last month because she was moving out of District 13. Ahlstrom says he's known Whitford through his previous dealings with labor and industry... and, Democrat affairs. Whitford represented Ward-Six in Jamestown for the past seven years... but, he had to resign his seat because he moved to an address in the First Ward. Ahlstrom says he believes Whitford will "fit right in" and work well with the Democrat caucus. If approved by the legislature... Whitford will fill out DeJoy's term which expires at the end of next year.
A Lakewood man is jailed without bail for allegedly breaking into a home on Jamestown's southside last weekend... and, stealing a number of items. Jamestown police say they were called to the scene on West Cowden Place about Noon Saturday on a burglary complaint. Further investigation led officers to find 22 year-old Dylan Abbey hiding inside another Cowden Place residence last Sunday morning. Police say Abbey was arrested on several unrelated warrants... and, he was allegedly found with a number of items taken during the West Cowden Place break-in. He was arraigned on several charges... including Felony second-degree burglary... and, sent to the county lock-up.
It's not perfect... but, Chautauqua County's Congressman says the 1.1-trillion dollar Continuing Resolution approved by the House and Senate late last week is a "step in the right direction." Corning Republican Tom Reed was among the slight majority in the House that voted for the measure that prevents a partial-government shut-down. Reed says there are a number of items in the bill he's "very happy" to see... including measures to restrict funding to further implement "Common Core" in public schools. Reed adds that there are also funding restrictions for the Internal Revenue Service... regarding targeting of groups -- be they conservative or liberal in nature. He adds there are also funding restrictions on the proposed expansion of EPA navigable water regulations. Reed says he would have liked to see "Common Core" repealed entirely. However... it was approved in both the House and Senate... and, now goes to the president's desk. Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.
A project to renovate one of downtown Jamestown's historic bank buildings will allow a local, high-tech employer to move and expand in the city. The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has also received a quarter of a million dollar award from the state to help upgrade the M-&-T Building at Third and Main Street as part of the 4-million dollar project. Mayor Sam Teresi says it's another project funded by the state's Regional Economic Development Council program.... as well as state tax credits. Teresi says the M-&-T project includes moving Digitel from the Furniture Mart building to the M-&-T site so it can expand... and, keep 50 jobs in downtown Jamestown. He adds the firm also plans to add between 15 and 20 jobs. Teresi says M-&-T will also be leasing space back in the building... and, there will be another 10 to 15-thousand square feet of space for professional office or commercial use. He says the state regional council program also approved a 338-thousand dollar award to CODE, Incorporated... to purchase property for a Greenway Project at East Second and Winsor Streets. Teresi says it will be used to create a recreational area in the Appleyard Terrace area. He made his comments on last weekend's "Community Spotlight" Program.