Posted by Sue Jones on Sep 16, 2019
Pictured (l to r):  Chris Anderson, Eddie Sundquist, and Rotary Club of Jamestown President Cheri Krull
Chris Anderson introduced Eddie Sundquist, Democratic Candidate for Mayor of the City of Jamestown. A graduate of JHS as salutatorian in 2007, Sundquist pursued a political science degree at St. John Fisher College, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude in 2010. He taught middle school science in Philadelphia where he also attended the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Masters of Science degree in education. He was recognized as Educator of the Year by his school in 2011.
Determined to return home and work for others, he returned to Western New York and attended the University at Buffalo School of Law. While at UB Law School, he was an advocate for children and families, working with the buffalo community to develop alternatives to school suspension and discipline programs. In addition, he has an expansive background in legal studies, having interned with the U.S. Treasury Dept. and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and clerked for an administrative law judge at the New York State Division of Human Rights.
Sundquist received his Juris Doctorate in 2015 from UB School of Law and returned to Jamestown to practice law with Lewis & Lewis, P.C. He continues to be a fierce advocate for children, injured workers, and families.
Mr. Sundquist started by telling us he too had left town after graduation, vowing NEVER to come back and he returned because he realized just how wonderful Jamestown is.
He is convinced that this city is at a point where we can grow; we have many challenges, but so many positives. We need to innovate, change and adapt to the 21st Century. We need to make Jamestown more business friendly; make the City connected with low cost, fast, fiber internet for starters.
Jamestown has many condemned buildings. We need to support our neighborhoods and enforce codes and laws, ridding properties of bugs, lead paint and code violations. Decrepit buildings need to be improved and painted and have new roofs and we need to make these improvements affordable with PILOT tax incentives.
We can tackle this city’s financial burdens by becoming creative in our solutions and initiate user fees and different tax rates. We need to share services with other municipalities nearby. We need to initiate a system whereby a problem is resolved by only one call to the City, not be shuttled or transferred to several different departments.
Sundquist fielded questions from the audience regarding his position on the spending of any more money to annex property into the City, to which he answered that any further attempts at this annexation does not foster good will.
Where does he stand on dissolution – his reply was that we should focus on sharing services and stop being territorial. An example he pointed out is the Ellicott Police traveling through Jamestown from one side of their town to the other.
He was asked his position on the city running an ambulance business. He replied that the city does not ask for reimbursement for ambulance calls and perhaps if Jamestown started pursuing reimbursement for these 4,000 calls, the business could be more profitable.
In his opinion all of the city’s issues and challenges are tied up in money. What are the road blocks to the city? He feels the City is unfriendly – it doesn’t make business loans for development that it could and should through JURA and JLDC. He suggests that a high speed fiber internet could be developed in conjunction with our already established BPU.
The city must collect all revenues possible and cut spending by reorganizing all city departments, revisiting existing contracts and employee health care benefits.
A very interesting presentation.