Jamestown will soon be welcoming a new director of development, one who is looking to bring about an era of aggressive collaboration with other city agencies in order to bring Jamestown into a new age.
On Wednesday, Mayor Sam Teresi announced his appointment of Vince DeJoy to the positions of executive secretary for the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency and director of development for the city of Jamestown. Upon the retirement of Steve Centi, who had served in those positions since 2000, the mayor began a search for someone to fill the roles.
"During the brief but extensive search process, there were a number of excellent and qualified individuals who possessed several of the desired qualities and attributes for this position. In my mind, however, one person seemed to best bring all of the necessary skill sets and relevant experience to the table. I am very pleased that Vince decided to offer his extensive background and energy for consideration."
DeJoy, who has served since 2009 as the director of business development and marketing for the Windsong Radiology Group, has also been involved for many years in the development of downtown Jamestown. He has previously served as a citizen member of the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency and, for the past five years, has served on City Council.
"The word that I want to define my tenure here as the director of development is collaboration," said DeJoy. "Collaboration with public agencies, private agencies, foundations and civic groups within the city. I want to see all of us working together to make Jamestown the place that it can and should be a shining star."
"We're looking to launch a new aggressive period for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation and the department of development," said Teresi "Whether it be as the defender and advocate for our changing neighborhoods in this community, as a promoter of business development in the city, or in regard to developing the natural assets of Jamestown that can become economic assets, such as the riverwalk. We're looking for an aggressive, dynamic new period for the department of development. Together with staff that's very capable and new blood in the department, I'm looking forward to launching that new era of working with the community at large to build off of everything that is happening right now in a positive way in this community."
According to Teresi, the search for a new director of development was a quick, but difficult process. However, the search was helped along when DeJoy came forward and expressed his interest in the position. When asked if there had been a national search, Teresi said that he hadn't looked for a candidate on a national scale, but felt that DeJoy was a "national-quality candidate in our own front yard."
The Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency will be meeting today at 4 p.m. DeJoy will be giving his existing employer two to three weeks notice and, pending approval by Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency, is expected to begin his new post as executive secretary at the end of February. The unpaid companion appointment as director of development will then go to City Council for their consideration.
"I'm looking to bring this to City Council on Feb. 25th, but prior to that, Vince will have to tender his resignation to the City Council. You can't hold two appointed city officer positions at the same time, so I would anticipate that his resignation will take effect prior to his appointment being read at the meeting on the 25th. I would also encourage him to hold off on the resignation until the last minute possible so that the residents of the Fourth Ward will continue to have representation."
Once DeJoy tenders his resignation to the City Council, it will be up to Mayor Teresi to bring recommendations to the City Council for someone to be appointed to fill DeJoy's position for the balance of the term, which continues through the remainder of 2013. According to Teresi, no one has approached him at this point regarding the upcoming vacancy, but the spot must be filled by someone with the same party registration as the official that is leaving. In this case, the mayor and City Council will be restricted to finding a registered Democrat to fill the position.
DeJoy's resignation from City Council will also vacate him from positions with the Jamestown Local Development Corporation and the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities.
"I will have to appoint a replacement from City Council to both of those boards," said Teresi. "The City Council president, according to the city charter, will also be required to appoint a new chair for the Finance Committee, the position that DeJoy had previously held."
According to Teresi, finding replacements for some key vacancies in the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency's staff will be one of the first items that DeJoy will be tackling in his new position.
"Learning every facet of this job will take some time," said DeJoy. "I don't expect to come in and have all of the answers. I want to get to know each and every staff member in the agency and find out what they all do. I'm very anxious to do walking tours with the mayor, too. I already have extensive experience doing that during campaigns, but I think this will be a little bit more fun that going door-to-door, asking people if they'll vote for me. I want to hear from the people and see what they have to say."
"I think we will be successful," DeJoy continued. "Every department here at City Hall, I think, is very capable, and I think I'll be successful with this role in the development of Jamestown."