Jamestown City Council Axes Agreement Between City, JFD

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JAMESTOWN – A contractual agreement between the City and the Jamestown Fire Department was struck down last night by the City Council. 

The Council voted against the agreement 5-2, with City Council President Tony Dolce and Ward III Councilwoman Regina Brackman casting votes in favor of the agreement. (Councilwoman Kim Ecklund recused herself.) According to the agreement, the contract would’ve lasted from Jan. 1, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2024.

Four new firefighters would’ve been hired. Additionally, a pay increase each year would’ve been included. Health insurance for new hires would have ended at the federal Medicare eligible age.

Mayor Eddie Sundquist released a statement following the meeting. He explains that the council failed to invest in the safety of city residents and firefighters.

“I am extremely disappointed that the City Council elected not to approve the contract to fund our Fire Department, which would have enhanced fire protection and increased ambulance coverage in Jamestown. I thought that the administration and the union came to a fair deal, one that saw increased staffing to ease the hard work that our firefighters do every day, while getting rid of lifetime health insurance, which has an estimated actuarial savings for taxpayers of $2.2 million per firefighter.

With the City facing ever increasing legacy costs, I truly thought it was better to pay a little more now for greater savings down the road.

This Council has chosen not to invest in public safety, has chosen not to invest in life-saving medical care for Jamestown residents, and has chosen not to invest in the men and women that serve our City bravely every day.

While this result is disappointing, I hope that we are able to come back to the table and re-engage with the union to come to another deal. Hopefully next time, the City Council will not vote to defund our firefighters

The Council, however, approved a new agreement with the Jamestown Kendall Club Police Benevolent Association that includes pay increases from Jan. 1, 2021- Dec. 31, 2024.


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