Frontier Village belongs to the city of Jamestown

JSSP Letter to Editor

By Dave Smette | Jamestown

Jamestown's Frontier Village is once again in the news as the City Council questions whether to continue to lease the grounds to the present Frontier Village Association managing the village. The City Council and others are questioning the overall management of Frontier Village and their lack of accountability of taxpayer dollars.

Frontier Village has, in my opinion, been mismanaged for several years! Taxpayer dollars have been granted to Frontier Village Association through the city of Jamestown and through the Jamestown Tourism Board. Over the last 10 years that amount granted to the Village has amounted to $639,441 from 2010 to the present. There were additional taxpayer dollars granted previous to that time as well. Those funds were invested in repair and maintenance of many buildings at the Village as well as many different upgrades and projects. For FVA to now say that they will sell or tear down either the buildings or sell off donated equipment is certainly very wrong.

The lack of accountability and mismanagement by Frontier Village Association has been noted before. I was on the Jamestown Tourism Board for several years. I was the chairman of the Tourism Board in 2010-11. The Tourism Board was so concerned at that time about the lack of accountability and mismanagement that we brought the matter to the attention of the City Council. There were some minor improvements after those meetings at City Hall including a change in the executive officer of the association. However, that person then became a board member along with family members and problems with accountability of taxpayer funds continued to be a problem, apparently to this day.

I would strongly support new leadership at Frontier Village either through replacement of the current board members or with completely different leadership. Frontier Village is a great resource for the community of Jamestown. It belongs to the city of Jamestown, not Frontier Village Association. It needs a new vision and strategic planning for the future.

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