JAMESTOWN – City Council Ward II candidate Raven Mason-Thompson (R) has called for more government transparency during her campaign, but her Primary opponent and incumbent Councilman Tony Dolce said transparency already exists in Jamestown City Government.
In a phone interview with WNYNewsNow Friday, Dolce gave examples in which the municipality has remained transparent.
“The transparency has always been there. Certainly our meetings are always open to the public,” Dolce said. “I try to do the best I can to get as much information out to people, being responsive to constituents’ concerns and issues in the neighborhood.”
“I’m not really sure what they mean by transparency. I’m kind of taken aback by that because, sometimes, people will use that as an issue of possibly something that isn’t quite right. Everything we do is open and transparent…everything is done legally, by the book, it’s open, there’s minutes, everything is transcribed.”
Dolce said he’d like to see more community meetings in an attempt to reach out to disengaged residents. In addition, Dolce recommended having some of the Council meetings take place at school buildings in each ward.
When asked why he chose to run again, Dolce said he remains committed to serving as Jamestown will transition to a new mayor.
“I enjoy doing it. I still have a passion and interest in working for the City of Jamestown,” Dolce said. The incumbent currently serves as a history and economics teacher at Jamestown High School.
Dolce said that infrastructure and crime remain two of the biggest concerns that he sees remain throughout the City of Jamestown as a whole. Dolce highlighted the drug issues that remain prevalent.
If elected, Dolce stated his biggest goal is to address the financial issues that the City faces.
“Obviously, we have some financial issues,” Dolce said. “Budgeting, we are at our constitutional tax limit so there’s going to be some very difficult decisions that may have to be made down the road.”
“That’s going to be a big goal and challenge not only for myself and other people on the Council to try to come up with ways to alleviate some of the budgetary challenges and pressures we have.”
WNYNewsNow asked Dolce why Republicans in his Ward should vote for him in Tuesday’s primary against Mason-Thompson. Dolce said his record should convince those to vote for him.
“I’m basically running on my past experience, and what I’ve done, I think most of the people in the Ward can recognize that I’ve been one of the most outspoken, open and transparent people on the City Council,” Dolce said. “I’ve been responsive to needs not only of my own constituents, but of all the constituents in the City.”
“This is an important election. I think we need to have some stability and some experience on the Council to shepherd and help the Mayor and the new administration.”
Polls across Chautauqua County will be open from noon to 9 p.m. next Tuesday. New York State has a closed primary system, meaning only registered party members can vote only in their own party’s primary.
For example, registered Democrats can vote in Democrat primary elections and registered Republicans can only vote in Republican primary elections.
Those registered as independent can not vote in New York State Primary Elections.