JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown City Council is once again at full strength.
On Monday night members of the council acted on Mayor Sam Teresi’s appointment of Tamu Graham-Reinhardt (D) to the fill the at large council seat vacated by Vannessa Weinert at the end of last year.
“I became interested [in the council seat] due to housing and some of our properties around here that deserve a little more attention,” Graham-Reinhardt told WRFA after being sworn in and following the meeting. “I’m also interested in engaging the Latino community a little bit more. We kind of have a couple of separate communities here and we need to reach out and engage more of our marginalized communities or communities that aren’t involved so I hope my background can help us do that.”
Graham-Reinhardt is a Jamestown native who currently is employed at the Falconer School District as a Spanish Teacher. Her background in education includes a Teaching Degree in Spanish from UB, a Masters in Public Relations from Ball State University, and she’s also been accredited with a New York State School District Administrator Certificate. Prior to working at Falconer she was employed as an administrator for WestED professional development firm based out of San Francisco as well as for Jamestown Public Schools for 13 years, from 2004 to 2017, most recently as curriculum coordinator.
As for choosing Graham-Reinhardt, Teresi had to identify an individual who was a registered Democrat, since that was the party Weinert is registered as. But he also wanted to find someone who would be staying in the community and also willing to run for a full two years once this current term is over and Graham-Reinhardt said that is something she will definitely be doing.
“Nine months or a year is not enough time for anybody to really understand how this all works and if you’re going to do this you need to make an investment. You need to show that this is something you are doing because the community is important to you,” Graham-Reinhardt said. “My kids live here, I want my daughters to move back here. I hear all the things the mayor is talking about in regards to infrastructure and things we are trying to do to revitalize the area so I think it would be great to have our kids move back here. I want our graduates to stay here. I think that is important.”
Graham-Reinhardt and her husband David are the parents of two children, one who still attends Jamestown Public Schools while the other is now attending college at UB. She was unanimously approved to fill the vacancy by a vote of 7 to 0 with councilman Tom Nelson absent from the meeting.
In addition to announcing Graham-Reinhardt’s appointment, Teresi thanked Weinert for her service during her short time on the council, as well as thanking a reported ten other individuals who also expressed interest in filling the open seat.