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WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Oct. 27, 2022

County Legislature approves amended, 2023 Budget that cuts tax rate by 30-cents per $1,000...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has adopted a slightly revised 2023 budget.  County Executive P.J. Wendel's proposal was amended to account for a new mandate to provide drug addiction services at the county jail.  During Wednesday night's meeting in Mayville, lawmakers approved the $277.6-million spending plan by a vote of 18-0.  Before the budget passed, Dunkirk legislator Robert Bankoski brought forth an amendment to add grant funding for the county's Mental Hygiene and Jail Clinic departments.  Bankowski says it doesn't change either the tax levy or tax rate.  The full value tax rate decrease will remain at 30-cents per $1,000 full value... while the increase in the tax levy will stay at 4.1%.  No one spoke during an earlier public hearing on the budget.


Dolce: City Council looking at hiring IT Cybersecurity person...
Members of the Jamestown City Council heard about the need for an additional person to help with cybersecurity during this week's budget hearing.  City Council President Tony Dolce says the panel heard from Information Technology Director Mark Dean about the need to make sure their systems are secure in these times.  Dolce says it's something that both businesses and governments alike are having to do now because "cybersecurity is in the forefront."  No other new positions are being proposed at this time.  In addition to IT... lawmakers Monday night reviewed smaller departments, including the City Clerk/Treasurer... and the Comptroller's Office.  At the first work session in November... Dolce says the biggest departments -- fire and police -- will be reviewed.  Council members will then offer any changes they want to make... with the expectation of approving a spending plan at the end of November.  Dolce says... if they need more time to consider the $36.8-million budget... they can hold a special session before the due date of Dec. 1..  Mayor Eddie Sundquist's budget includes no increase in the tax rate.


City woman arrested for vehicle theft...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly stealing a person's car after police responded to a "suspicious situation" on the city's southside.  Jamestown Police were called to the undisclosed location just after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday... and, found 30 year-old Stephanie Soto sitting in the passenger seat of the stolen vehicle.  Officers say Soto was arrested on one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property -- a Class E Felony.  She was jailed pending arraignment.  The car was turned over to it's registered owner. 


Sempolinski unable to see Zeldin-Hochul debate, but, happy to see focus on crime...
The first... and likely only debate involving the two major party candidates for New York governor... was a competitive one in what's become a tight race.  But... not everyone was able to see Tuesday night's debate between incumbant Democrat Kathy Hochul, and Republican Lee Zeldin.  The just over hour-long program was carried by Spectrum Cable... and, NY-1.  Local Congressman Joe Sempolinski says he wasn't able to watch the debate because he doesn't subscribe to Spectrum where he lives in Steuben County.  However... Sempolinski says he was pleased to see highlights of the back-and-forth about crime and public safety... and, he says he has supported police funding measures that have come forth during his short tenure in Congress.  Zeldin has pledged to end cashless bail... while Hochul touted her work on gun legislation with the state legislature, and getting 8,000 illegal guns off the streets during her just over one-year in office.  Sempolinski made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


County's League of Women Voters urges public to weigh in on State Ballot Proposition...
There will be one proposition on the ballot when voters from across New York state cast their ballots for the general election.  That's an environmental bond act that will allow the state to borrow up to $4.2-billion for various projects... including restoration, open space conservation and water quality improvement.  Mary Croxton, who is President of the Chautauqua County League of Women Voters, emphasizes the measure will not increase taxes.  Croxton says the act will lead to new jobs, protect and expand green spaces, and further promote clean air and water.  Croxton say the League is reminding voters to flip over their ballots over, and vote on the bond act.  The League of Women Voters of New York supports Proposition-One... which is the only proposition on the ballot.  State lawmakers approved the measure as part of this year’s budget package, sending it to voters as a November ballot proposal. 


Fetterman's  rocky debate performance causes concern among Democrats...
A new sense of uncertainty has risen over Pennsylvania's pivotal U.S. Senate contest.  Democrats are struggling to remain optimistic about John Fetterman's candidacy after a rocky debate performance.  Fetterman took the debate stage Tuesday five months after suffering a stroke.  He struggled to complete sentences, and he jumbled words throughout the hour-long event.  That was not a surprise for those voters who know him best -- Fetterman has never been a smooth orator.  But it stirred a fresh sense of anxiety among party leaders and rank-and-file voters.  Fetterman's campaign set up a rally for Wednesday night and released a new advertisement seizing on Oz's comments that abortion laws should be decided partly by ``local political leaders.''