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VanDenVouver seeks resignations of city employees

Resignations were requested at the last Dunkirk Common Council meeting.

During the public portion of the meeting, chairman-at-large candidate, Paul VanDenVouver commented that “people are not satisfied with the Al Zurawski and the Wendy Spinuzza thing.”

According to a document VanDenVouver read from, former Building Inspector Al Zurawski was paid a sum of $106,070 in the month of June, following employment dismissal due to a personnel complaint.

“So combined between Al Zurawski and Wendy Spinuzza, it’s almost a quarter-of-a-million dollars of the taxpayers money that was spent on a debacle,” VanDenVouver stated. “I know that, legally, you can’t speak about it, but usually when you wrongly accuse somebody of doing a sexual act or harassment, I think an apology from the City Council and the administration would be appropriate.”

VanDenVouver noted that due to the situation, “three outsiders,” as he called them, Vicki Westling, Dave Campola and City Attorney Richard Morrisroe were instrumental in making the decisions regarding Zurawski and therefore nothing less then their resignations would be appropriate.

“Between the three of them it’s approximately $170,000 for their pay for the city of Dunkirk,” VanDenVouver commented. “So that’s $410,000 in one stupidity move that cost the city taxpayers. I’m not bringing this up because it’s an election year, like you accused me of last time. My recommendation to the council is to ask for their resignations. Nothing less, than their resignations, would satisfy the city tax payers of the city of Dunkirk. It’s disgusting what this administration did to Mr. Zurowski. He served the city for 30 years, I served with him for six terms. The way you guys handled this, you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

Later in the meeting, Mayor Wilfred Rosas responded to VanDenVouver’s comments.

“Basically, we ran into a situation where we were out of compliance with both federal and state labor laws,” Rosas said. “In my opinion that was the direct result of not having an HR (Human Resources) director, which is why we corrected that. I disagree with 100% of the items that he listed.”

No further comment was made on Zurawski. The next meeting of the Dunkirk Common Council will be Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

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