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County does ‘notoriously bad’ with census

Thank you for the column “Dreadful census details are no mirage” (Sept. 3). As a professional planner (Master’s Degree: University of Illinois), former Jamestown City Council President, and former Public Policy Fellow for SUNY Rockefeller, and current Chair of the Jamestown City Planning Commission I would like to make a few comments.

First, in the previous census (2010) we had a complete count committee on which I served in Jamestown as the census bureau is notoriously bad at counting the correct number of residents. This made a difference in 2010. In December 2019 I attended a meeting of the Jamestown complete count committee which then did not meet in 2020 that I was ever made aware of. We have more residents than the census said we do but we didn’t do the job at the local level. We blew it!

Second, because of my work for Buffalo State and my former students who work up in Buffalo I know that both the City and the County had complete count committees. Buffalo’s “growth” may be in part to getting the job done. I would suggest asking around as to the whereabouts of complete count committees in our area. They got the job done!

Third, Buffalo, along with Utica and Schenectady, has been especially zealous at attracting new immigrants which is part of Buffalo’s growth. That is pretty much the history of Buffalo that I can attest to as a native and the grandson of immigrants. You were right to bring up diversity in your column. We don’t do a good job with that in my adopted home town of 36 years. Buffalo is increasingly attractive because of the dynamics that diversity brings whether it is ethnic, religious, or LGBTQ. We continue to blow it!

Fourth, we don’t have regular airline service out of the Jamestown airport due to action or inaction of the county legislature like we used to have. Pre-pandemic I used to do a lot of consulting out of town and it became increasingly difficult. We were supposed to have Amtrak service at Dunkirk but that never materialized. I am tired of driving to and from Buffalo for transportation especially over route 60. As I approach retirement in 2022 I am seriously considering retiring to Buffalo because of better transportation connections allowing me to do more consulting work around the country and the opportunity to do more work at Buffalo state at the undergraduate and graduate level. I love JCC, my work home, but there are things we can’t do because we are not a four year school which we need.

Gregory P. Rabb is a Jamestown resident and former council member.

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