Ambassador Hugues Sanon meets with County Executive PJ Wendel at VIP breakfast.

On Monday, June 5th, 2023 the Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel met with Ambassador Hugues Sanon at his north side Jamestown home, discussing the county’s needs over breakfast.

The VIP breakfast meeting was attended by CE PJ Wendel and his press attaché Justin Gould. Mrs. Darlene Mae Nowell of the Villager, the well-known photographer Mr. Jon Elder and top model Emmanuella Sanon, who is the wife of Ambassador Hugues Sanon.


CE Wendel says it is great to have someone with his understanding and global perspective make our community home.

“Ambassador Sanon understands our opioid problems, he understands the poverty and homelessness, but he’s been to places like Nicaragua, Honduras, San Salvador and Mexico, third world counties that have a much greater problem than we do here in Jamestown and Chautauqua County in particular,” explained Wendel. “But he brings perspective.” embedyt][/embedyt]

During the hour-long conversation, the County Executive and Ambassador agreed to collaborate moving forward, hitting at a so-called “catalyst group” to connect young people.


“I think there is a much broader perspective of what we need to accomplish in Chautauqua County, there is no one thing, like increasing the overall positivity or our footprint when it comes to tourism, but really accentuating and collaborating together,” said Wendel. “What he focused on was the positive and how we bring the positive change.”

According to County Executive PJ Wendel, the biggest challenge currently facing Chautauqua County is the immigration problem, where dozens of illegal immigrants migrate to Chautauqua County and have to wait many months to obtain their asylum papers that will allow them to start working. In particular, they find themselves in a critical situation, unable to pay for housing and food; but thanks to the faith-based community that helps them find shelter and food, otherwise, the situation would be worse. County Executive PJ Wendel also mentioned that Lake Chautauqua, which at 1,308 feet above sea level is one of the highest navigable waters in North America, offering exceptional fishing conditions for several species of groundfish. However, climate change could lead to a decline in tourism to the area, undermine the regional economy, devalue properties surrounding the lake and reduce the ability of residents and visitors to enjoy the lake. He also urged women to hold various positions in the Chautauqua County government, and advocated greater collaboration between all local governments, whether Democrat or Republican, to strengthen Chautauqua County.

During the meeting, Mr. Sanon presented the Key to Peace and Sustainability and the Conscience Clock to CE PJ Wendel in revitalizing the economy in Chautauqua County and a Community Leadership Medal for Wendel’s efforts to combat drug addiction and said to CE Wendel,

“You have made a commitment to strengthen Chautauqua County by helping to stimulate and revitalize the economy and create a much more effective and efficient county government.” Therefore, as an experienced humanitarian and community leader who has worked with many local, national and international leaders, I’m happy to meet with you to share ideas on how to make Chautauqua County great again and to offer my help in solving some of the challenges facing Chautauqua County to revive the economy, strengthen law enforcement, solve the drug problem, reinvigorate our education system and bring joy and satisfaction to our community; So, On behalf of COJEP/FDFWA, I therefore present you with the Key to Peace”.

Chautauqua County faces many challenges: budget, taxes, substance abuse, child trafficking, criminal activity, transportation issues, parking issues, gun control, road maintenance, homelessness, housing, parks, water quality, utility rates, opioid impact, diversity, business, health, to name a few.

Mr. Sanon therefore proposes a comprehensive strategy and the inclusion of a diverse set of partners: faith leaders, LGBT leaders, journalists, newcomers; middle-class, poor and college residents to facilitate robust yet sustainable social and cultural economic growth, a clean atmosphere and safe living conditions to put Chautauqua County on the right track:

Mayors can appoint a “Director of Arts and Cultural Affairs” to organize annual music awards, launch music festivals in the parks, host art exhibitions in the City Hall galleries, create cultural activities in our schools and churches, and organize events and activities such as concerts, talent shows, open mics, poetry evenings, festivals, fashion shows ; host basketball competitions, soccer matches, fashion shows and city beauty contests. Also, town halls can organize receptions in city halls and invite business leaders to discuss ways of creating jobs.

– Appoint a “Community Liaison Officer” to interact with the local community and attend community meetings and events on behalf of leaders when they are unable to attend.

-Religious leaders are in constant contact with their church members. So, if we want to win the fight against gun violence, drug addiction and human rights abuses, we need to include clergy at the table and train them to identify hot spots of violence in their communities and educate them on how they can play a role in fighting gun violence and help reduce crime in our community.

– “Clergy Counsel”

The “Clergy Counsel with law enforcement” will be a link between the police department and the people it serves. It will be a partnership between the police department and clergy leaders to build a strong relationship that will in turn improve public safety and police-community relations throughout Chautauqua County.

“Chautauqua County Chaplain

Chaplains are law enforcement officers whose purpose is to provide spiritual support, guidance and comfort to members of law enforcement. The mission is to use everyday community policing to prevent crime, build trust and strengthen relationships.

-Implement positive daily or weekly radio and TV briefing about our towns and villages, as well as social media campaigns to promote our towns while combating underage drinking and other challenges.

Implement policies and procedures to restrict alcohol consumption at community events, making greater use of ID scanners and other evidence-based tools; implement drug- and tobacco-free policies in schools.

Furthermore, on the afternoon of the same day, Ambassador Hugues Sanon also hosted a VIP dinner for Mrs. Kathleen Collver, Vice President of the Blue Star Mothers, and her husband, Vietnam veteran Stan Collver, who was the Master of Ceremonies for the 2023 Jamestown Memorial Parade, to give him an insight into the various challenges facing Jamestown.

Ambassador Hugues Sanon is the Special Envoy/International Relations to the United Nations for the Council for Justice, Legality and Peace and he is also the International Ambassador for the Foundation for a Drug Free World and Vice president to UN accredited Global organization for Sustainable development.


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