Fracas shakes league in city

A recent incident has shaken up the city of Dunkirk’s relationship with the school. Now, the city is taking steps to keep that relationship in good standing.

Last weekend, an incident of unsportsman-like conduct set off a chain reaction, eventually resulting in the city rethinking its conduct policies.

The city’s adult basketball league plays in the high school gym, which has different rules when it comes to “trash talk.” The issue happened during a game and Rec Coordinator Ryan Hall and the high school principal, who was there in his spare time, attempted to handle the situation.

“There was an issue with one of the players. The principal of the high school was there and he came onto the court and tried to break it up, the individual, I don’t think he knew who (the principal) was, the principal said ‘I’m going to call the cops, so the individual shoved the principal out of the way and walked away,” Hall told the Personnel Committee.

Not many were happy with the way the situation was handled at the time, but Mayor Willie Rosas pointed out the school has rules that the city doesn’t have for its courts or fields.

He also noted the city has taken action since then.

Hall reported, at a request, the player was suspended from playing for the rest of the season. The city’s policy exacts temporary suspensions and fines after two conduct violations and a season suspension after three strikes.

Hall also noted the referees did not blow their whistles or get involved and spoke to them and will get something in writing to them about the expectations at the high school gym.

See LEAGUE, Page A6

“When I came into office I had to have a conversation with the previous superintendent because they had cut the program. We came to a gentlemen’s agreement that the program would continue, but there would be more supervision our part and we would have policies that we would enforce. So, some of these things that happened in the past we have eliminated some of it, but obviously not all and we need to be a part in that fight,” Rosas said.

He told the OBSERVER the city plans to enact a new policy that will allow Hall to maintain better order and then to inform the school of the actions taken in order to keep the relationship they have built up.

Hall also reported the rec center rentals and league fees have raised $11,281 since January. Because of demand, the committee discussed extending the city’s lease that ends on April 15 by a couple weeks. Rosas asked Hall to focus on programs to draw high schoolers next year to give them something to do. They also discussed ways to infrom the public of what the rec center has to offer, both in space and programming.

Winners of the city’s eighth-grade essay contest will be announced in May.