Proposed BPU Shake-Up Rankles Outgoing Members | News, Sports, Jobs

If the proposed mayoral appointments are approved by Jamestown City Council later this month, three members of the Jamestown Public Service Council board of directors who wished to continue their service will no longer be associated with the nine-member group.

Earlier this month, the presentation of conciliar appointments and assignments by the Mayor of Jamestown, Eddie Sundquist, was announced at the inaugural meeting of Jamestown City Council. In the announcement, which was immediately put to a vote until the council meeting on Monday, Jan.31, community representatives Greg Rabb and James Olson and councilor Marie Carrubba were not reappointed to the council. administration of BPU by Sundquist.

Rabb, who served as chairman of the board for four years and a member of the board for 14 years, said it was disappointing that if approved by the board he could no longer continue to serve. the BPU.

“If I leave, I haven’t had a chance to thank the board and the staff for their work. I am really disappointed that I cannot continue the work. One of the gems of Jamestown is the BPU. It is a real asset and we do not want to lose it ”, he said.

Rabb said in November he sent a letter and email to Sundquist asking for re-election to the board.

“I would like to think that I was doing a professional job and that I have experience” he said.

Rabb also said he disagreed with Sundquist’s decision not to renew Olson or Carrubba as well. He said Olson has decades of experience in finance as a CPA and Carrubba, a lawyer who advocates for people with disabilities, does a quality job chairing the staff committee.

“I don’t like the idea of ​​someone playing with the BPU and the mayor, and the way they handle that, playing with the BPU,” Rabb said. “The bottom line is, I don’t want anyone playing with BPU. It’s too good.

Carrubba said she had let the mayor know that she wanted to continue serving on the BPU board, which she has done since 2018, when former mayor Sam Teresi appointed her to the board of administration. She was reappointed to the board in 2020 by Sundquist when he took office as mayor.

“I wanted to see certain projects succeed, such as the treatment of renewable energies and the treatment of annexation”, she said. “There has been a push for electric vehicles and I’m delighted to see how many charging stations (the BPU has) and how clearly they are marked. It makes us look like a city on the move and that we are progressive.

Carrubba said she is honored to serve on the board and wishes the staff and the board continued success.

“I can’t say enough good things about the staff. They are very open and helpful in dealing with all aspects ”, she said. “(Earlier this year) when Buffalo and Erie County suffered power outages due to high winds, as far as I know, no one lost power here. It’s a credit to their foresight in dealing with trees and structures on power lines and everything they’ve done to make sure we don’t lose power during high winds and inclement weather. .

Olson, who was appointed to the board in 2019, said he had also informed Sundquist that he wanted to be reappointed to the board. He said that as a former chief financial officer and city clerk, he had worked regularly with BPU since 1981, except when he worked for the city of Warren, Pa., From 1994 to 1999. Olson a stated that Rabb and Carrubba also have several years of BPU experience.

“Losing that experience, I think, is a big concern, especially with everything going on like annexation and renewables,” he said. “I think it will be difficult for people who come to the board and don’t have that experience. It is detrimental to the board of directors.

Sundquist told the Post-Journal he wanted to thank Carrubba, Olson and Rabb for their service to BPU and the expertise and talent they have offered over the years. However, he said that bringing in new people with new ideas is the new direction he wants for BPU’s board of directors.

“When I started my term I made a promise to bring in new leaders and shake up our boards and commissions to represent all parts of the community. It’s part of the process ”, he said. “The people leaving the board have provided great knowledge over the years, but I’m taking the utility company in a new direction. “

New nominations proposed to the board include Sean Connor and Sabrina Gustafson. Sundquist said Connor is senior vice president and chief financial officer of Cattaraugus County Bank. He is a graduate of Jamestown Community College and holds an MBA from Saint-Bonaventure, who also volunteers on the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Grant Selection Committee. Gustafson owns and operates a language translation business and a notarial service. Sundquist said she was a former welfare examiner for the county and had also worked for the Jamestown Public School District as a health and attendance clerk. She also served on the city’s search committee for a new police chief.

“Sean and Sabrina are truly amazing examples of emerging leaders in the community trying to improve what we have here in the town of Jamestown” Sundquist said. “I am delighted to nominate their names for nomination. I am delighted to have new talent on the BPU Board of Directors.

Sundquist said he was not sure if the board would approve his proposed nominations at their voting session meeting, but he will work closely with any member ahead of the meeting to inform them of the selections he made.

“All applicants, whether new or renewed, are well qualified and will represent our community well. I appreciate that they got together to do it ”, he said.

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