The city of Dunkirk Development Department will see its work load reduced for 2013 - it will no longer be in charge of the city's festivals.
The festivals, along with the Fourth of July celebration and Music on the Pier, will be run through a Dunkirk Local Development Corporation committee that was created by resolution at a DLDC board of directors meeting Wednesday.
The Development Department has been in charge of the festivals so far and Development Director Steve Neratko said his department needs help.
OBSERVER Photo by Gib Snyder
Mayor Anthony J. Dolce announced a 90-minute time limit for Dunkirk Local Development Corporation meetings prior to the start of a DLDC meeting Wednesday.
"It is a lot of work, a lot of effort, and there's a lot of background work that goes into these things. Along with everything else we're doing we do not have the time to do it all. So, we're putting together a committee," he explained to the board.
"Basically, this organization will be responsible for coordinating events, for marketing, promotion, for auditing and accounting purposes. Basically, this organization will have full responsibilities over the festivals. We have a wide range of members for the organization," Neratko said.
Neratko then called for questions.
Fourth Ward Councilwoman Stacy Szukala asked if the committee would be responsible for setting up and cleanup.
"I think part of the responsibility of this organization is everything to do with festivals and if additional help is required it will be up to this organization to find that additional help. So if we need volunteers this organization would assist us in finding them," Neratko replied.
Szukala pointed out this board would do more than other boards and members would have to be involved.
Prior to the meeting, Councilwoman-at-Large Stephanie Kiyak was lining up support for Szukala as chairman of the committee with Nicole Waite from the Development Department as the treasurer. When Kiyak brought the suggestion before the DLDC board, Neratko replied that the festivals committee should make the decisions about its leadership.
The DLDC 2013 budget contains $20,000 from the city for festivals, including the July 4 events. The festivals committee will also look to secure additional funding.
"The festivals does have its own account so the funds are always separate," Neratko said. "This group will basically be in charge of all the festivals and events the city has run in the past."
DLDC board member Joe Becerra asked about the Memorial Day parade.
"It is my intention that this group would be cooperating with them to assist in the promotion and marketing of those events and any other events," Neratko replied. He added the committee will work with those groups that seek its help in promoting their events.
According to the festivals resolution, the city is designating the DLDC as coordinator of festival and community-related events with the DLDC, its administrative staff and their assigns to be responsible for the "direct oversight and administration of the planning, organizing and operation of such community events, contingent upon the DLDC forming an advisory group for such festivals and events."
The resolution calls for Common Council members and community members to be on the committee.
DLDC board members Judy Lockett, Joseph Becerra, Third Ward Councilman Adelino Gonzalez and Mayor Anthony J. Dolce were named to the nine-member committee. Also named were youth and Recreation Board Chair Tim Gornikiewicz, Waite, Szukala, Jason Dilworth as the SUNY Fredonia/Community representative and Jonelle Anderson as the chamber of Commerce representative.
The board passed three other resolutions, including an agreement with Enviroteknix and its owner, Christopher M. Surma, on terms for a loan totaling just over $62,000 after a review by the DLDC finance Committee on Oct. 25.
The board agreed to seek a request for proposals for outside auditing services.
"It will probably be a three-year contract. The current ones will have the opportunity to apply again ... it is our intention to pick whoever is best," Neratko explained prior to the vote.
Neratko said the current firm doing the work, Johnson Mackowiak and Associates, LLP, will be contacted to see if they have information contradicting the DLDC's information that the current contract is up.
Prior to the meeting, Dolce informed the board that meetings would end after 90 minutes and eventually cut off the conversation to get a motion on a new DLDC secretary passed. According to the resolution, City Clerk Lacy Lawrence has resigned as secretary of the DLDC and will be replaced by Waite.
After the meeting Dolce said he thought it was a productive session and explained the 90-minute rule rationale.
"There's a lot on the agenda, there's a lot to sort through. We're trying to accomplish a great deal," he began. "To me, it's a fine line between being productive and being counterproductive and I felt when we were starting to cross that hour-and-a-half mark, the meetings were just being counterproductive. I felt that to get us more focused and get more accomplished, let's limit the amount of time and get everything in. If there is something that is truly pressing that we did not accomplish in the 90-minute time frame, we would schedule a special meeting."
He said he got no feedback on the time limit from board members but in-house feedback was positive.
"Let's keep everything focused and some conversations weren't relevant to what was on the agenda and I know there will probably be a lot of people out there who know what I'm talking about," he added.
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