City Council Approves Teresi’s Nomination For City Council Vacancy

Jamestown City Councilwoman At-Large Tamu Graham- Reinhardt (D) sworn in 01/28/19. Image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.

JAMESTOWN – Jamestown City Council approved Mayor Sam Teresi’s appointment of Tamu Graham- Reinhardt (D) 7-0 to fill the vacant At-Large seat Monday evening during the City Council’s monthly voting session.

Graham-Reinhardt will replace Vanessa Weinert, who resigned last month for what she cited as “personal reasons.” The term would be for the rest of 2019 until the next election.

Graham-Reinhardt said that she’s interested in improving some of the properties around the city that “need more attention.”

“I have lived in Jamestown my entire life, and I’ve seen a lot of things happen,” Graham-Reinhardt said. “I really became interested in the housing piece, and some of our properties around here that need a little bit more attention.”

The City Councilwoman also said that the Latino community is a bit disengaged, and she hopes to use her background to rebuild Latino engagement in the community.

“I’m also very interested in engaging the Latino community a little bit more,” Graham-Reinhardt said. “We kind of have a couple of separate communities here, and I think we kind of need to reach out and engage more of our communities who aren’t as involved.”

Graham-Reinhardt said she wants those who voted for Weinert to know that she’ll continue to push for ideas that Weinert pushed for. She also confirmed, when asked, that she plans on running in the Fall 2019 to retain her position.

According to the Jamestown City Charter, the Mayor must nominate a candidate from the same political party as the person who resigned.

Councilman Tom Nelson was absent.

After the meeting, WNYNewsNow asked Teresi to elaborate further on his decision to appoint Graham-Reinhardt. Teresi said that Graham-Reinhardt’s qualifications spoke volumes to him.

“She (Graham-Reinhardt) is an outstanding individual. I think, as I presented her resume tonight, she has impressive educational qualifications, impressive real world experience in both the public sector, educational center, private sector, she’s energetic, she loves this community, she’s spent her whole life here, she’s raising her family there,” Teresi said. “I can say that for virtually all of the candidates, but I saw something special in Tamu that I think was really going to add something to the rest of the team on the City Council.”

“I, and the Council, really couldn’t have gone wrong with any of the high-quality individuals that have stepped forward. I’m hopeful that some of those other individuals that offered their services for this appointment will consider stepping forward and getting involved in City Board Commissions.”

In the “New Business” section of the meeting, a number of Jamestown residents were either appointed or re-appointed to various committees and commissions. Teresi said that some of those residents were considered to replace Weinert, but declined to say who specifically.

The appointments and re-appointments were tabled until next month’s regular voting session, as Teresi and the Council both acknowledged that there wasn’t a pressing call for action in Monday’s meeting.

Multimedia Journalist Justin Gould contributed to this report.

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