Editor’s note: This is the fifth of a six-part series featuring the candidates running for Jamestown City Council.
Six candidates are contending for three At-Large positions on the Jamestown City Council.
The two incumbents include Kimberly Ecklund, who has served on the council since first being elected in 2003, and Jeffery Russell, who is going for his first re-election bid following his 2019 election. The challengers include Christina Cardinale, Randall Daversa, Ellen Ditonto and Alyssa Porter.
Ecklund, Russell and Daversa are all endorsed by the Republican and Conservative parties. Cardinale, Ditonto and Porter are all endorsed by the Democratic and Working Families parties.
Each candidate was asked the same four questions. This is the second part of a two-part article on the At-Large candidate’s responses. Below are their responses to the third and fourth questions asked.
Question 3: With the Jamestown City Council voting down a proposal to operate a controlled deer hunt to curtail the population of deer in the city, what should be the next step taken by the council to try to control the deer population in the city?
Ecklund: The Jamestown City Council did vote down the proposed deer hunt in September, but most, if not all, would agree that the topic should not go away, and discussion should continue. A deer mitigation plan needs to be a comprehensive multi-level approach that will address not only the reduction in the population, but also the interest of public safety as well. I encourage the committee to continue investigating the range of possibilities as well as involving not only the residents of Jamestown, but also the DEC, the neighboring towns and other agencies.
With only a 1% vehicle traffic accident due to deer, is this really a public safety or public nuisance issue for our town? The plan presented was lacking in oversight and that was a large concern for me and needs to be addressed as well as a possible deer numeration. This type of action plan needs to have all areas addressed including cost, liability, and most important safety. The Irondequoit NY policy is an example but I am certain there are others we can learn from for the best interests of Jamestown.
Russell: I am not totally opposed to a controlled deer hunt. There were several unanswered questions and concerns from both council members and citizens during the process. The committee chaired by Councilman (Thomas) Nelson should remain intact and discussions continue. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation also needs to play more of an active role locally and statewide with this area of concern. A New York State Environmental Conservation Officer was never made part of the discussions.
Cardinale: I applaud Councilman Tom Nelson for trying to resolve the problem. I would have liked to see the council collaborate before voting against Councilman Nelson’s original resolution. …….