JAMESTOWN – Improper disposal of heroin needles was one of the biggest concerns brought forward by residents during a recent tour of Jamestown’s second ward.
“I live right next to the railroad tracks and right behind my house the kids walk in the tracks to go down the to the store and their dad had to pick up a whole cupful of needles,” said Carylon Gunsolus, a resident who spoke with WNYNewsNow. “People go down there and do whatever.”
Gunsolus said that she doesn’t feel that city officials are doing enough to cleanup the mess.
“They (city officials) just tell you if you see them (needles) call us and we will come get them but I’m not going to sit there and wait,” said Gunsolus. “If I have a tissue I’ll pick them up and take them with me.”
Raven Mason-Thompson (R), who is challenging councilman Tony Dolce (R) for Ward II’s seat in June’s primary, said that there are resources available to recovering addicts but that more should be done.
“There is UCAN (the city mission) but what more can we do to get people not just a one time stay or even repeated stays, but what are we doing to see that they are going to be sustained, have a life, get back on their feet,” said Mason- Thompson.
The candidate believes that if residents want to make change, they have to ‘be the change’ by brining new faces into government and getting more people involved in decision making.
“I think we need to break that mindset and the only way it can be done is by starting with something new,” said Mason- Thompson. “How I’d like to see city council is more of an open forum.”
“Yes we have resolutions and a business agenda that has to be attended too; but we won’t know what the business is unless we know the business of the people.”
She said that people feel hopeless and helpless because there is no communication between government and select areas in the city.
The candidate said that might not be the intention of current officials but that is what many residents feel is happening.