JAMESTOWN – Members of the Jamestown City Council failed to override the restoration of funding for the Human Rights Commission during a special meeting Monday night.
The Council attempted to override a total of six vetoes from Mayor Eddie Sundquist on the adopted 2022 city budget. One of the vetoes. specifically, involved the Council withdrawing $6,000 of funding from the budget for the commission.
Councilman At-Large Jeff Russell spoke prior to the vote. He says that funding the commission goes against the precedent of not funding other committees in past years.
“I think about the Veterans Commission or the Planning Commission and there are no other commissions that are having monies that allocated to them,” Russell said. “If this passes tonight then I’m recommending that these commissions step forward and also request funding. I feel like there’s some favoritism going on, or some of the good ol’ boy network going on with this strictly picking one commission out and funding that commission. I don’t think is right and I can’t support that.”
Prior to the votes on the vetoes, the Council also voted to appoint incoming Jamestown City Court Judge George Panebianco to a 10-year-term. Council President Tony Dolce says the state informed local officials that Panebianco would need to be appointed for a decade behind the bench.
Panebianco is replacing Judge Fred Larson, who has reached the mandatory retirement age.