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Rosas vetoes decision regarding added counsel

Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas has vetoed the Common Council’s refusal to hire outside counsel to represent the city in a grievance dispute with Local 912 over Memorial Day weekend beach cleaning.

Rosas, in a letter sent Monday to City Clerk Edwin Ramos, stated City Attorney Richard Morrisroe is “a general practice attorney with limited experience handling labor matters in arbitration.” Meanwhile, Rosas noted, Local 912’s attorney has more than 30 years of experience in labor cases, which he handless his principal practice area.

“As an analogy, most of us have a primary care doctor. But when we have an issue that requires a specialist, the doctor himself or herself refers the patient to a specialist,” Rosas wrote. “Likewise, here, the city attorney felt a specialist in such cases could handle then as on the city’s behalf the best.

The council voted, 3-2 on Sept. 7, against a resolution authorizing Buffalo-area law firm Hurwitz and Fine to handle the arbitration on behalf of the city.

Rosas concluded in his letter that Local 912 essentially seeks the value of the contract awarded to Pierce Services for the cleanup, even though city officials have stated Dunkirk didn’t have the proper equipment available for the job at the time.

“I thus do not feel it is in the city’s best interests to agree to its demands or settle. It is in the city’s best interests to prepare for arbitration with an expert labor litigator, just as the union is doing. This is what I feel is best for the city’s taxpayers,” Rosas wrote.

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