Retrospective

Twenty years ago — 1998

In a letter to the editor defending her administration, former Dunkirk Mayor Margaret Wuerstle reminded current city officials that when she took office in 1992, the previous council had authorized pre-payments of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the State Pension System and left her with unsettled labor contracts along with an underfunded budget. Her administration prepared and presented six budgets without a tax increase and invested over $4 million in capital improvements. Overtime costs were reduced by $500,000 as Wuerstle focused on running the city like a business. After Wuerstle was defeated in her fourth bid for re-election, the Dunkirk Common Council, led by Frank Gawronski, increased city taxes by 22 percent.

Thirty years ago — 1988

The grand marshal for this year’s Fredonia Farm Festival parade was Edwin Hamlet, owner and operator of Hamlet Farms in Sheridan. In addition to farming, Mr. Hamlet is a member of the Sheridan Planning and Zoning boards and is a former chief of the Sheridan Fire Department and Master of the Sheridan Grange. He also is a member of the Masons, the Farm Bureau and the Sheridan Methodist Church. Mr. Hamlet has lived on the farm purchased by his great-grandfather in 1880 his entire life with production today specializing in fresh market vegetables and flowers.

Forty years ago — 1978

Chautauqua, a staid, conservative cultural institution, has been shaken to its normally serene roots by a battle between neighbors over cats. Central to the case seems to be this question: “Is Molly, a 2-year-old spayed grey and white female cat weighing six pounds, the leader of a “vicious gang of marauding cats” that are preying on birds and wildlife, or is she a home-loving tabby who likes nothing better than to crouch under the bushes at the Hall of Philosophy and listen to uplifting lectures?” The whole matter has landed in the State Supreme Court.

Fifty years ago — 1968

Joseph Damiano, executive director of the Dunkirk Youth Bureau, recently announced his resignation, effective Sept. 1. Mr. Damiano, who has been employed by the board in the part-time position for exactly one year, said he is resigning because he believes the position should be a full-time job. While employed as executive director, he began work on a juvenile aid officer, handled the summer beautification program, established a youth employment referral bureau, and studied and then reported the youth situations in the city to youth bureau members and city officials. The present part-time salary for the job is $1,500.

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