Twenty years ago — 1998

Robert D. Kesicki, who officially took office as mayor of Dunkirk on New Year’s Day, issued a challenge to the residents of the city. He urged “every child, young adult, adult, senior citizen and every member of the city to join and be an active participant in the revitalization of the city.” The new mayor offered several ideas to help revitalize the city, among them the creation of a waterfront market place featuring arts, crafts and antiques with locally-owned businesses; and the creation of a job skills program for lower income people that would include a daycare facility.

Thirty years ago — 1988

With spring just around the corner, members of the Dunkirk Historical Society are already making plans to complete the restoration of old No. 444 — the Alco-Brooks Locomotive they have on permanent display at the county fairgrounds on Central Avenue. The locomotive, which was built in Dunkirk 72 years ago, was returned to Dunkirk in early 1987 after many months of effort and expense on the part of the society. Over the summer, society volunteers erected an iron fence around the display, laid drain lines and installed underground electrical service. Permanent access stairs to both the boxcar and caboose were also built in time for last year’s county fair.

Forty years ago — 1978

In an apparent attempt to improve his relationship with the Democratic council, Dunkirk Mayor Gilbert Snyder, a Republican, last week announced that he will go along with the appointment of Charles Dudek to the Dunkirk Civil Service Commission. On Jan. 1, the council voted against the appointment of John Palmer as head of the Department of Public Works, even though he has 21 years of experience in the city engineer’s office. Mr. Palmer said that Mayor Snyder twice vetoing the Dudek appointment may have led the council to reject his appointment. “It’s pure politics,” Mr. Palmer said.

Fifty years ago — 1968

Gerald Dengler, a Fredonia trustee and longtime automobile dealer in the village, died unexpectedly last week at Brooks Hospital at the age of 64. A past president of the Fredonia Chamber of Commerce, he had retired from the automobile business in 1966.