Agreements with dissent

Right before the Christmas holiday, it was the tale of two contracts with public employee unions. One, in Dunkirk, that came before council for a third time. In Mayville, however, it was a one-shot deal.

Both were approved, but in the eyes of many taxpayers, they are flawed deals.

For the city, the plan — for those currently on the payroll — provided very little, if any, giveback. The reductions begin with the new employees.

In the county, sheriff’s deputies only have to work 20 years, not 25, to retire. Both contracts were lauded by both the city and county, respectively.

There is, however, a silver lining to these imperfect deals. Both were not rubber-stamped by legislators.

In the city, council member Stacy Szukala stated more than once about how uncomfortable she was with the proposal. “I might be the only no vote tonight and I want you to know it has nothing to do with any of you and that I don’t believe the budget supports the contract,” she said before voting “no” Dec. 20.

Though deputies and other lawmakers in the county called the sheriff’s pact a “win-win,” it must be noted that of the 19 who voted, seven were against the deal.