Ecklund sworn in as next mayor of Jamestown

P-J photo by Eric Tichy Kim Ecklund takes the oath of office as Jamestown mayor Monday afternoon in City Council chambers. City Court Judge George Panebianco, right, administered the oath to Ecklund.

Kim Ecklund promised to keep her remarks brief following Monday’s swearing-in ceremony at the Jamestown Municipal Building. The history-making Ecklund managed to pack a lot into those comments — acknowledging the city she loves and those who helped guide her to the mayor’s office.

“I am truly honored and humbled to stand before you as the 26th mayor of the city of Jamestown,” Ecklund said as dozens of people filled the chamber where the City Council meets. “As I took the solemn oath of office, I am reminded that we could not have done this, and it could not have been possible, without the help of so many people who are not only present today, but also watching on live-stream video.

“As the first Republican female mayor, I am truly grateful and hope to continue to be a role model for more to follow me in the future.”

In securing victory in the mayoral race last November, Ecklund went from longtime city councilwoman to leader and face of the city.

“Jamestown is the ‘Pearl City’ of Western New York, and it is not only my hometown, but it is a place I chose to return to (and) a city that I truly love and want what is best for all its residents,” she said after taking the oath of office administered by City Court Judge George Panebianco.

Ecklund acknowledged “all the things that make this city amazing.” That includes its manufacturing history; a diverse place with cultural heritage; its strong educational system; and, “most importantly, its people.”

She continued, “We have survived a pandemic that changed how we do business and have emerged stronger and better equipped for the future.”

“While acknowledging history is vitally important, our focus must now be on the work that lies in front of us,” she said. “I firmly believe that together — with this council, administration and workforce — we can successfully navigate whatever lies ahead.”

Ecklund referenced her grandfather, Alpine Johnson Sr., who in 1965 ran for mayor of Jamestown, but lost in the primary. She also thanked her husband, Keith, “who has not only been my biggest supporter, but also the one who encouraged me to run for mayor.”

She thanked her transition team members for their help in guiding her to her new role as well as the media for “getting the message out” and its fair coverage of City Hall.

“I promise to work hard for you and make the best decisions for this place we love,” she said. “To quote Mother Teresa, ‘I can do things you cannot. You can do things I cannot. Together, we can do great things.”

Prior to Monday’s ceremony, the City Council recognized outgoing representative of the Fourth Ward, Marie Carrubba, while also welcoming its two new members, Joseph Paterniti, R-Ward Four, and Russ Bonfiglio, R-At-Large. The council as a whole then took the oath of office.

The oath also was administered to Jamestown’s representatives on the Chautauqua County Legislature.

Councilman Tony Dolce, R-Ward Two, was reelected president of the City Council. In remarks to kick off the council’s new term, he said it was a “great honor and privilege to serve as the chairman of this body for the past four years, and I am extremely humbled to be chosen once again for this position.”

Dolce noted the council’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the $28 million in recovery aid the city was provided as a result. Millions of dollars, he said, have gone toward public safety, housing, small business and “investments and improvements” to equipment and parks.

“As we move into the next term, the current council will be faced with many difficult and challenging decisions,” Dolce said.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today