JAMESTOWN – There is an increased security presence at Jamestown City Council meetings following an argument between a lawmaker and constituent last week over the meaning of Memorial Day.
During the council’s work session on Monday, May 16, an unruly man got into an argument with Council President Tony Dolce, that led to the individual being asked to leave the meeting.
The argument stemmed from a discussion about the Jamestown Memorial Day parade, with differing opinions about the context of the event: whether it is a remembrance or celebration.
“It’s a celebration of their lives,” explained Jamestown resident Michael Sepanski.
“It’s not,” replied Dolce.
After repeatedly making comments, an argument arose between the two.
“I’m not gonna argue with you,” says Dolce.
“I’m not arguing,” said Sepanski.
“I wasn’t talking to you,” says Dolce. “I was making a comment publicly about…”
“Take it easy, take it easy,” replied Sepanski. “You need some blood pressure medication?”
“Excuse me, I would like you to leave, I think you need to leave this meeting,” exclaimed Dolce. “You’re completely out of order and out of control.”
“And you’re an imbecile,” Sepanski replied. “Can you spell that?”
Since the altercation, officers with the Jamestown Police Department have ramped up their presence.
“There have been a number of council people that have asked, given the situation last week where we had an unruly constituent come in,“ explained President Dolce.
The Council President believes it is important to have security, especially in light of recent events nationwide.
“Just as a precautionary measure, we want to make sure that everybody that comes here, staff, elected officials, and constituents that come can feel safe,“ says President Dolce.
Dolce doubled down that all members of the public are welcome to attend city council meetings, in fact, he encourages anyone to visit to speak directly with their city representatives.
The increased security is just that, security, with the goal of keeping the meetings safe.