Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Nov. 16, 2021

Ecklund would like 2022 general fund budget dealth with separate from Jamestown's ARPA funding...
The head of the Jamestown City Council's Finance Committee says she would like to see a general fund budget that is separate from the city's American Rescue Plan Act funding.  Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says lawmakers are "running out of time" before the budget due date, and she's received little feedback from fellow councilmembers.  Ecklund says she wants any proposals before the budget hearing this Friday night at 6 p.m.  She says she wants feedback by Wednesday, because that way, if a special meeting is needed next Monday night, they can announce it.  Ecklund says members of the committee are also frustrated by the co-mingling of $3-million of "lost revenue" ARPA funding in the 2022 budget plan.  She feels the committee also feels the need to separate the regular budget from the ARPA monies.  Ecklund says she'd like to adopt a general fund budget first... then "dig into" the ARPA funding.  The $38.9-million budget proposed last month by Mayor Eddie Sundquist includes a $130,000 increase in the tax levy... but, no increase in the tax rate.  It also includes seven new positions.  


Sundquist urges Council to get moving on where city's ARPA funding will go...
The mayor of Jamestown did urge city lawmakers to begin looking seriously at moving more of the projects in Jamestown's Master Plan to use American Rescue Plan funding.  Eddie Sundquist reminded lawmakers during last night's work session that they've had the first tranche of money -- just over $14-million -- in the bank for 181 days.  Sundquist says those projects include recovery funds, to help small businesses, and may even be used to protect the Chadakoin River.  He says he understands the diffculty of dealing with both the regular budget... and, the rescue plan funding.  But... he says they are getting calls to start getting the funding "out there."  Sundquist says the city has until only 2024 to commit the funding and the projects must be completed by 2026.  Whatever money is left at that point, had to be returned to the U.S. Treasury Department.


County Bd. of Elections finishes, Jamestown's third-ward race now official pending certification...
The vote count in the Jamestown City Council Ward-Three race is now final... pending certification of the results... which may take place by the end of this week.  That from Chautauqua County Board of Elections GOP Commissioner Brian Abram... who says any challenge to absentee or other ballots needed to take place yesterday.  On election night... Democrat Regina Brackman had an 11-vote lead over Republican challenger Robert Reedy, Jr.  However... the absentee count brought the margin down to two, 173-to-171, with Brackman ahead.  That will be the final result... pending final certification.  That officially means Republicans will have a 7-2 majority on City Council in the coming year. Also in the Jamestown-area... Michael Walker will be the Carroll Town Highway Superintendent after gaining votes in the absentee count, with 521 votes, to James Mitchener III's 494. 


Hochul praises $1-trillion Infrastructure Bill before leaving for signing ceremony in D.C....
New York Governor Kathy Hochul traveled to Washington, DC Monday afternoon for President Joe Biden's signing of the just-over one-trillion dollar "Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act."  Prior to leaving... Hochul praised bi-partisan measure... calling it an "investment in New York..." and, New York's families.  During a press conference at the Albany Airport... she said it means billions of dollars for the state's infrastructure needs... including $14-billion for roads and bridges... $10.5-billion for transit systems... to $100-million for broadband upgrades.  Hochul says, when she was especially traveling the state as Lieutenant Governor, she found a number of rural areas where her cell service dropped out.  She says with the projects will come "thousands of jobs" in New York state.  The measure has been passed a few months ago in the U.S. Senate... and, was recently adopted just over a week ago in the House of Representatives in a 228-to-206 vote. 


NYC Public Advocate, Williams, announcing run for Governor...
New York City's elected public advocate Jumaane Williams is running for New York governor.  The self-described activist is the most progressive candidate in next year's increasingly crowded Democratic primary race... which already features Governor Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James.  Williams is a 45-year-old former New York City councilman who serves as a public ombudsman in his role as the city's public advocate.  He shared his plans with The Associated Press before formally rolling out his campaign announcement Tuesday.


Teachout to run for A-G in 2022...
Law professor Zephyr Teachout has announced she is seeking the Democratic nomination for attorney general of New York.  Teachout made the announcement late Monday in Brooklyn.  She had said earlier that she would run for attorney general if incumbent Letitia James announced a run for governor.  James announced her campaign for governor on Oct. 29.  The 50-year-old Teachout is an associate professor of law at Fordham University and a scholar on corruption and anti-trust laws.  Teachout ran for the Democratic nomination for attorney general in 2018... but lost to James.


Man arrested for domestic incident in Ellicott...
A 68 year-old man has been arrested for allegedly hitting another person in the face with an open hand during a domestic incident in the town of Ellicott.  Town police were called to the undisclosed scene about 5 p.m. last Saturday... and, found that Mickey Reagan had hit the person... and, violated an order of protection.  Reagan was arrested for second-degree harassment, and second-degree criminal contempt... and, he was jailed pending arraignment.


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