JAMESTOWN – Members of the Jamestown City Council used Monday evening’s Voting Session to honor Ward III Councilwoman Vickye James, who passed away suddenly Saturday evening.
Prior to James’ passing, the Councilwoman was outspoken in her efforts to secure a final police reform plan for the Jamestown Police Department as part of New York State’s Police Reform Initiative. Councilwoman Marie Carubba discussed James’ contributions to the plan.
Carrubba explains that James was key to ensuring the stakeholders involved in the discussions could craft a plan that could allow for further reform in the future.
“If it wasn’t for Councilwoman James (the plan may not have been finalized), she did contribute a lot, and she spoke from her heart and she was very passionate about seeing this done,” Carrubba said. “I only regret that she’s not here to see this but she was very instrumental as well at getting this document completed.”
Councilman Brent Sheldon told the Council that he would like to honor the resolution in honor of James and her work in constructing the plan. The Council passed the resolution by an 8-0 vote.
Councilman At-Large Jeff Russell, an ex-JPD officer, commented on James’ passing during the comments portion of the meeting. Russell says that he recently read an old email exchange between him and James, which he says concluded with a “profound” passage from the Book of Psalms.
“Because He hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him,” Russell recited. “I will set Him on high, because He hath know my name.”
“I say to Vickye James, He knew your name, and you knew His name,” Russell added. “I just say, rest in peace, my sister in Christ.”
Reverend Tom LeBeau of Kidder Memorial United Methodist Church gave an invocation prior to the meeting. A moment of silence was observed following the invocation.
City officials are expected to announce additional ways of honoring James in the future.