I am reacting to the Post Journal’s recent article regarding the city council’s decision to not run any due process to opt out of New York state’s law legalizing marijuana dispensing and consumption.
I was taken back by the published statements from councilman Dolce that “we were too late in the year to hold public hearings” and “the state was slow forthcoming with information delaying the due process” (paraphrased). The further statement indicating that the city would benefit from the added tax revenue particularly given surrounding communities were opting out was also particularly telling of the noble motives of our community leadership.
Personally I don’t care if New York State has legalized marijuana. We all know the character and motivations of those who drove and approved this decision. However we do own what goes on in our community and the excuse of “not enough time “ is not a valid excuse. In fact I’d be embarrassed to be associated with any leadership team that came to a decision in this described manner.
Ride or walk around Jamestown. Look at the health and upkeep of our businesses. Look at the newspaper, drugs, crime, shootings, domestic violence constantly in our headlines. Take a walk up Prendergast avenue after dark. Our city is in decay. It’s not the vibrant, safe community we knew 30 years ago. And as the city decays, the decay will spread to surrounding communities, so more than just city residents are impacted by the Council’s decision.
Our community leadership should be committed to building a vibrant, safe, growing community where people desire to live and work, raise their families and build their futures. A community we are proud to be part of. But sadly we have lost this vision, and we are seeing the consequences throughout our city and surrounding communities. The Council, council president, and by association the mayor are on the brink of falling into another bad decision to further our decay and take us further off course.
We, the silent majority, the law abiding citizens, the bedrock of our community, need to raise our voices in protest. Reach out to Mayor Sundquist’s office (716-483-7600) and Council President Dolce’s office (716-483-3573) and calmly express your encouragement for them to do their job right, do the hard work by year end, hold the hearings, and hopefully arrive at the decision to opt out and take a step toward reversing the decay. Again, call even if you are not in the city limits as common sense dictates the consequences of this decision will eventually spread into our surrounding communities.
If this hearing happens our job, the job of the silent majority of Jamestown and our surrounding communities will be to attend the hearings and stand for what we know is right for our community.
Mr Dolce, council members and Mayor Sundquist, I implore you to start to lead, and lead positive change in our community. Running due process would be a positive first step. Do what you know is morally and ethically right.
Mike Abbate is a Jamestown resident.