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Department head meetings lead to divide in Fredonia

A resolution was put forth at the Fredonia Village Board’s workshop Monday in regards to department head meetings.

Apparently there had been an issue with the meetings possibly being held after normal work hours for village employees which is normally 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mayor Doug Essek said he is fine with 4 p.m. meetings that take place only once every other month and claimed that the department heads were fine and that their regular meeting time in the day would happen the opposite months.

Trustee James Lynden had an issue with this as he claimed that it’s because of Essek’s schedule that he can’t meet with them during their normal work hours. “It’s also my understanding to have the treasurer meet on the opposite month,” Lynden stated. “You asked the treasurer to oversee that and that’s a transfer of power. How do you plan to handle your department heads?”

Essek responded by saying that they can call him on the phone if there is an issue. Lynden took offense to this saying that, “you would address village board while you are at your other job?”

“None of the department heads have a hardship here,” Essek added. “I attended the recent State of the State address in Dunkirk. The Lieutenant Governor said that the election is over; it’s time to put these politics aside. I agree with her.”

Essek then read from a prepared statement. “I’m trying to build better relationships with our surrounding municipalities. Just this week myself and Trustee Roger Britz along with our wives spent some time with Senator George Borrello and Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas and their wives.” Essek spoke of a photo he shared on social media and the positive comments that it garnered. “This showed that the communities as a whole were behind us.”

“In a recent weeks we are collaborating and the Small Business Revolution has shown that different people can come together towards a common goal,” Essek went on. “Although we do not know the outcome yet, I feel we have already won. Sadly though, this board is still divided. The notion to bring back the previous mayor who left office with no transition is no attempt of putting the politics behind us. Transition from the former to the current administration was less than desirable. Fredonians, to my knowledge, want the bickering to stop. We need to move forward.”

Following his remarks the board discussed the possibility of one of them overseeing the department head meetings each month and opted to table the resolution until new wording could be transcribed by the following village meeting.

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