Employee charter changes on Council agenda

Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas has expressed a strong interest in re-engineering the structure of city government to adjust to the changes in municipal government administration over the past several decades, making Dunkirk more efficient, responsive and equipped to handle the challenges of the present and future.

As part of today’s Common Council meeting, councilmembers will vote on three charter changes to promote that goal.

The first, in Resolution 96, would create a human resources director to handle Civil Service and New York state retirement issues; negotiate collective bargaining agreements; recruit, interview and train new employees; as well as other duties like draft and implement human resource policies and procedures. The resolution proposed the new position would be noncompetitive, answer to the mayor, and make $60,000 plus benefits.

If the resolution moves forward, a public hearing will be held at the Oct. 17 council meeting.

Another change, made in resolution 97, would adjust the duties of the current part-time personnel administrator to match what the reality is now, according to City Attorney Richard Morrisroe.

The resolution states current Personnel Administrator Roger Heyden has acknowledged the need to revamp the department. The change would better reflect the job already carried out by Heyden and, according to the resolution, would not change the pay of the position, which according to SeeThroughNY.net is under $22,000.

The third and final change to the charter would also better align the housing, building and zoning officer’s job descripton with reality, according to Morrisroe. a mayor-appointed and supervisory position, if resolution 98 is approved.

“The current position is a competitive civil service position and a member of the USW 2693 bargaining unit. The resolution does not propose any changes to what it the reality. It proposes adjusting the charter language to reflect the reality that has been in place in function for several years,” he said.

All charter changes must have a public hearing before approval.

Council will also vote on resolution 93 to declare the STEL, Inc. project an “unlisted” action under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA); resolution 94 to authorize a contract for the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, for which Dunkirk received a $45,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Fund; and resolution 95 for the annual renewal of the agreement with the Unified Court System.

Council will also hear a request from Lisa Leavitt for Harvest Chapel Church to use Washington Park for the 5-Day Club’s closing carnival on Dec. 9.

The council will hold a workshop at 5 p.m. in the mayor’s conference room, followed by the meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the court room, both at city hall.