Over the past year under a new administration, what can city of Dunkirk leaders point to as progress for 2012?
We know business and industry continue to be in trouble in the city. We also realize an audit - that really told us nothing we did not already know - has taken probably too much time for administrators to deal with and talk about.
We also know that despite all the woes from industry and taxpayers for the shrinking city, which continues to lose population, the answer was not an increase in water bills as well as property taxes. But the mayor and council members endorsed both - unanimously.
If there is really any silver lining to the city of Dunkirk's efforts in an otherwise horrendously dark year, it is the regionalism piece that has taken place in two instances.
First, the city police are patrolling areas of the town of Dunkirk, which adds to the police presence in the region. In return, the town pays the city for its efforts on a monthly basis.
Also, the city is open to the idea of selling water to the village of Silver Creek. In a 4-1 vote, council members agreed to be partners in a study for the Route 5 waterline.
Stephanie Kiyak, councilwoman-at-large, rejected the idea because she does not believe the city should pay for the study. That "no" vote does nothing to build a partnership.
As 2013 looms, so do major unfinished contracts with city workers who believe they deserve more money for the work they do. Those workers and their unions, like the city firefighters already have done in not accepting pay raises, need to take a close look at all that is going wrong in Dunkirk, and be thankful for what they have.
It is likely already more than they ever thought would be possible for the protection and service they provide to the city.