Spotlight on Your Village Council

As you know, Jamestown Community Library shares the Jamestown Municipal Building with the Village offices. The east side of the building (84 Seaman Drive) houses the Village Council chamber, Police Department, village clerk, receptionist, and the mayor’s office. When it’s not in use for regular village business, library-sponsored programs are held in the council chamber meeting room at the courtesy of the Village. The library values our relationship with the Village government, and shares a common mission to serve the local community. In this post, we’d like to highlight the efforts of the Village Council, mayor, and their staff.

Small villages across Ohio and the country struggle with managing scarce resources to maintain or improve the quality of living for their residents. Doing so requires the council and fiscal officer to work with one another to manage limited available funds, maintain services, and prioritize projects. While serving as a mayor or council member does carry a small salary, the work requirement and commitments involved in the job far outweigh the compensation.

Village officials not only attend council meetings twice a month, they also attend departmental meetings such as with the boards of public affairs, parks, and the zoning committee as well as with the regional planning commission and others required by state mandates. Throughout the year, the council uses their available funds to provide a police department, whose officers, require not only pay but also training and up-to-date equipment.

The council also works closely with the street superintendent and street department to maintain village infrastructure such as pavement, signage, and storm drainage. Many of these projects require soliciting outside bids and contracting project work out to local companies. In the fall, the street department and village must estimate how much road salt they will need (as well as how to store it) for the coming winter. Finally, the council maintains village property, which includes the water system, well field, and tower, as well as caring for several pieces of expensive heavy equipment.

 

 

Projects often involve large sums of money and are prioritized on the basis of critical need out of financial necessity. Budgeting and estimates based on previous years’ expenditures play a major role in this prioritization. How does the Village pay for all of these expenses? It is done through various sources of revenue. Primarily the village has a ½ percent income tax, but it also receives funds from property taxes, levies, utility bills, and some smaller amounts from licensing and permits. The village clerk helps manage these funds by keeping the books and disbursing funds when necessary, all of which are subject to state audit. The council also seeks reduced pricing on purchases, or applies for grant funding whenever available. This work is done by a small group of your fellow residents who give a great deal of their time and effort for the betterment of the village.

Village Council meetings are held regularly on the first and third Monday of each month at 7 p.m., with the exception of federal holidays when they are moved to the following day. Council meetings are open to village residents as well as the public at large. If you would like to express a concern or learn first-hand about the workings of our Village, you are encouraged to attend.

For more information, visit the Village of Jamestown’s website or Facebook page.

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