JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown GOP’s endorsement for mayor said the party’s endorsement is critical to his campaign’s success.
During an interview with WNYNewsNow Wednesday morning, Wilfong explained how the endorsement allows him to utilize the Republican Party’s tools.
“Having the endorsement is a huge step up on the campaign,” Wilfong said. “It (the endorsement) gives me the opportunity to tap into my party’s resources, so the endorsement is a huge undertaking, and it’s a huge reward, so I really appreciate that group.”
Wilfong, a Chautauqua County Legislator from District 11, said that he is a worthy replacement for current Mayor Sam Teresi, who became the city’s mayor in 2000.
“I think I am a great candidate for the Mayor of Jamestown,” Wilfong said. “I think I bring fiscal conservancy to that job. I’ve been extremely successful at lowering taxes at the County level. I think the City could, certainly, learn about the way business is conducted at the county level, and maybe open the door for a little bit better communication between what goes on in the county, and what goes on in the city.”
“I think there’s always been a little Democratic, Republican issue there. I’m hoping with my election, and with the election of the other officers this Fall, that we can stem that and reach across party lines and get things done and work together, like we do at the county level at this particular time.”
The City of Jamestown has reached its constitutional tax limit. Wilfong said that the City of Jamestown needs to observe where they’re spending money.
“We’ve got to take a good look at where our money is going,” Wilfong said. “We’ve got to keep a better track on the revenue, and we’ve got to keep a better track on the expenditures. The city is heading down, maybe, a dark path. We have the arbitration units working on the contracts for the firemen and for the police. Historically, they don’t go well when it comes to ruling against the actual city, itself, so we could be in more financial trouble there.”
In addition, Wilfong called the BPU annexation battle in Falconer “troubling.” Wilfong also said that he is unsure whether or not a Republican mayor would be able to receive financial assistance from Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Government.
WNYNewsNow asked Wilfong if there was any initiatives of Teresi’s that he’d like to continue. Wilfong said that he wants to obtain more resources for treatment of opioid addiction here in Jamestown.
“I believe, kind of like what Sam (Teresi) believes, that if you want treatment in the City of Jamestown, you should be able to find it in the City,” Wilfong said. “We have housing opportunities, and we need to provide them.”
“I also believe in the law enforcement component. If we can’t get you to seek treatment, we’ve got to make the streets safer for the City of Jamestown. I think Mayor Teresi has done a decent job at that, and I would continue on with that particular option and move forward with that.”
City Councilman At-Large Andrew Liuzzo told WNYNewsNow Tuesday evening following the GOP meeting that he would “absolutely” be challenging Wilfong for the GOP nomination for the 2019 General Election.