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Gunderson impressed with Jamestown's 'vitality'

Upstate New York's top economic development official said he's "incredibly" impressed by the Jamestown area's development collaborations.

Empire State Development Corp. Upstate Chairman Daniel Gunderson was invited to Jamestown to meet local officials Wednesday. He said he has been touring parts of the region during his first three months in office.

"I take these tours, and people may whisper to me or implore me to do this or to do that, and I take that message and I'm able to realize some action from it," he said. "That has been a positive for the communities to know that change is not only possible, but inevitable."

After touring some downtown Jamestown development efforts, Gunderson said he was impressed with the vibrancy of downtown.

"I believe that's because the leaders have taken an approach over the years toward integration -- integrating the community life, the neighborhood life with the downtown to produce vitality," he said.

Downtown Jamestown Development Corp. Executive Director Lee Harkness, who led Gunderson on the downtown tour, said Jamestown has had problems in some areas, but is improving in others.

He said he liked Gunderson's belief that small business development should be a priority.

"He recognized that fact about not only starting small business but retaining small business. That's wonderful stuff to hear."

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