Jamestown city lawmakers are looking at cutting up to another 55-thousand dollars from the proposed 2014 budget... which would lower the tax increase to under two-percent. The City Council last night took one more look at the 33.6-million dollar spending plan after hearing from the final department head... and, outside groups... such as the Prendergast Library. Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce proposed trimming 20-thousand dollars from the Contingency Account... given how little had been used this year. Following a brief closed door session... lawmakers also reached consensus on cutting 20-thousand dollars from Judgement and Claims... leaving 80-thousand dollars in that line-item. Dolce says 75-thousand of the 100-thousand there this year has been used. He says they had to find somewhere to cut because the city is getting ever closer to it's tax ceiling. In addition... the heads of the Police, Fire and Public Works Departments are to look for 5-thousand dollars in cuts from their "100" accounts. Police Chief Harry Snellings and DPW Director Jeff Lehman said that's the only place really left to find cuts. Lawmakers have already cut 32-thousand dollars in interest payments due to the city's new, higher bond rating from Standard and Poors. Prior to the council work session... lawmakers held a public hearing on the 2014 spending plan... which now increases the tax rate by about 43 to 44 cents per thousand full value. No one spoke during the session.
One of the two Jamestown Ward Council races has been decided... and, the other remains undetermined. That from County GOP Elections Commissioner Brian Abram... who says absentees were counted this afternoon. Abram says Republican Brent Sheldon defeated Tara Hall in the First-Ward contest, 356-to-344. Sheldon led by 28 on election night. However... Abram says there are 14 contested ballots in Ward-Three... where Republican Tamara Dickey leads Democrat Regina Brackman by just 4 votes. Abram says the count stands at 225-to-221. Dickey had a three-vote lead on Election Night. Specific ballot challenges need to be made by Friday... otherwise they'll be opened... and, the Board of Elections will decide if they count. Dickey and Brackman are looking to replace multi-term Councilman Michael Taylor... who decided not to run for re-election.
In town races across Chautauqua County... the Gerry Town Highway Superintendent's race came down to absentees... but, the Election Night leader was the winner. Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says Republican Brian Anderson... who led by just seven votes after the machine count... wound up winning over Independence Party candidate Mark Risley, 331-to-308. Abram says there were initially 49 absentee ballots... and, one affidavit ballot. Abram says there were some absentees that had to be thrown out because those people also wound up voting on election night. BOE Officials say Anderson and Risley had squared off in a September Republican Primary... but, already having the second line allowed Risley to be on the ballot. There was a north county race that "mathematically" could have been decided by absentees... but, that didn't end up being the case. Incumbant Republican Hanover Town Justice Richard Saletta held a 59 vote lead on Election Night. Abram says there were 74 absentees returned... but, Saletta defeated Democrat Edward Schintzuis, 738-to-684.
A Frewsburg woman is now in stable condition at a Bufffalo-area hospital after her car went out of control... and, rolled over several times in a single-vehicle crash in Cherry Creek Monday morning. Sheriff's Deputies say Sarah Parke was traveling on Milestrip Road about 11 AM when her car crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic for no apparent reason. Officers say Parke then apparently over-corrected... and, lost control. Officers say the car then overturned multiple times before landing in a ditch. Parke was flown from the scene by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment.
Three Jamestown teenagers have been arrested for allegedly holding up a man on Newton Avenue at Stowe Street early Sunday morning with a stolen handgun. City police were called to the scene about 3:30 AM... and, found the victim was walking home from a friend's house when a 17 year-old girl... and, two boys, ages 15 and 16... approached him in the middle of the street. Officers say the girl displayed what appeared to be a pistol... and, threatened the man. The trio allegedly stole some property from the man... and, ran off. Police later found the three... and, one put down an item and walked away from it. It was later found to be the handgun... which had earlier been reported stolen. The 17 year-old was arrested on several charges... including first-degree robbery, second-degree menacing... and, criminal possession of a weapon. The 16 year-old boy is also charged with first-degree robbery... along with grand larceny. The 15 year-old's case is being petitioned to family court.
Charges are possible after an unruly fan fell from the third deck of Ralph Wilson Stadium and landed on another man during the Bills' game against the Jets Sunday. Video shows the fan sliding down a handrail before flipping backward and falling about 30 feet into the stands below. The Bills say he won't be allowed back into the stadium.
The Ellicott Town Clerk's office on Dow Street in Falconer will be closed today while Clerk Mike Erlandson attends a training course. The training is in regards to hunting licenses. Erlandson says his office will re-open on Wednesday, November 20th at the usual time.