Governor Cuomo Makes $500,000 Visit to Jamestown

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Article Contributed by
Walt Pickut

With a rousing callout of “Hello Jamestown,” Mayor Sam Teresi and a standing room only crowd welcomed New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo to the soon-to-be-completed Lucille Ball Center for Comedy and Gateway Train Station in downtown Jamestown on Thursday afternoon, August 3.

“All good things come to those who work hard and have patience,” Mayor Teresi said, setting the stage for an important announcement which Governor Cuomo came to Jamestown to deliver in person. But before Governor Cuomo’s turn at the podium the mayor made a point of ackknowledging the many individuals to whom credit must be given for the outstanding accomplishments already achieved by so many in creating the Center for Comedy.

Andy Goodell, New York State Assemblyman representing 150th Assembly District.

Included in the list were Howard Zemsky, president and CEO of Empire State Development and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development, New York State Senator Catherine Young, New York State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan, and the many additional local and regional public servants who have teamed with the National Comedy Center Chairman Tom Benson and Executive Director Journey Gunderson. He added “I think that this is probably the best time in my life to be in Jamestown…it’s not only what we’re getting done, but how we’re getting it done…from the ground up, with the people of our community.”

Governor Cuomo spoke of the ongoing challenge of growing and keeping businesses in New York State. He announced a recent landmark accomplishment of achieving the lowest increase in state spending in the history of New York State, which he believes will lower tax rates further and increase New York’s economy and prosperity. This, along with many other improving economic factors, according to Governor Cuomo, have set the stage for the success of projects like the National Comedy Center.

Cathy Young, New York State Senator for the 57th District.

Based on the governor’s philosophy that each region of the state should develop its own plans for economic growth and development, Governor Cuomo sees the National Comedy Center as an ideal example of a regionally developed, homegrown, economic engine of growth.

“The leadership of your elected officials is pulling it all together,” Cuomo said, “it is smart, it is right, is going to work. You can feel it coming together. You can feel the energy that Jamestown is developing already. That’s why we have put in $25 million in this project and that is why, next year, we are signing up the first sponsor, a $500,000 commitment, to the National Comedy Center through the “I love New York” campaign.

Howard Zemsky, President and CEO of Empire State Development and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic

Howard Zemsky added that “economic development is a team sport, and the Jamestown team is unquestionably getting the job done,” to which State Senator Catherine Young added “It’s a great day in Chautauqua County today.”

In summarizing the day’s events, New York State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell spoke to the audience for this occasion, saying, “Take a moment to reflect on the fact that today you are a part of history. And, Governor Cuomo, your part in making this piece of history better and brighter for all of us makes this a truly memorable day. Thank you from all of us.”

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.