Man pleads with city on Brooks

Joseph Damore speaks at Common Council.

A city resident who heads up two Brooks Memorial Hospital departments criticized the condition of the building and told the Dunkirk Common Council he backs a new facility in Fredonia.

Joseph Damore insisted at Tuesday’s meeting that he was speaking strictly as a Dunkirk resident.

“I hate to say it and maybe because I wasn’t born here … but I’ve been here for 26 years. I don’t care about Fredonia and Dunkirk,” he said. “I don’t care what this is about. What I care about is, we need a hospital, OK? And we need as much support as possible. I wanna say again, I am not speaking on behalf of senior leadership at the hospital.”

Damore said he was at the building on Central Avenue every day. “I’m at Brooks day in and day out. For that being a hospital, it’s outdated. When you’re physically there every day and you’re seeing sewer lines that are rotting, when you’re seeing the fact that the steam system went down in and it cost thousands of dollars to keep it going — honestly, personally, I don’t care where Brooks moves to. The bottom line is, we need a hospital and I think everyone can agree with that.

See BROOKS, Page A3

“I’ve heard the complaints of, it’s four miles away. OK. It’s four miles. If the new hospital isn’t built, how far is Westfield? How far is Jamestown? Buffalo?”

Damore also noted that hundreds of people will lose jobs if the hospital goes out of business.

Councilwoman Nancy Nichols responded to Damore.

“The more concern for the people of the city of Dunkirk is, why did the people that were running the hospital let it go so that it is in such a terrible condition that it’s in? Why was the site that was chosen… chosen for where it was without the consideration of the people of the city of Dunkirk?”

Nichols added, “For two communities that are supposed to be so close knit or should be so close knit, there was a lack of working together in the whole issue.”

Councilwoman Natalie Luczkowiak stated that previous hospital director Richard Ketcham always made sure there was a city resident on the board of directors, but that policy is not in place with the current administration.

“I don’t know the actual facts but it looks bad. It looks like they stacked the board to get what they wanted,” she said.

Damore stated he was not there to argue and reiterated he was there to plead for the construction of a new hospital.

Mayor Wilfred Rosas also felt it necessary to address Damore about Brooks.

“I have no further updates than I provided to the council as of our last meeting … we have had very little to do to stop the hospital from moving,” he said.

“Just to be clear, at least from the mayor’s office, we’d rather see a hospital in Fredonia than no hospital at all,” he continued. “Obviously we do not want the hospital to leave the city and we still haven’t been provided factual reasons why the hospital should leave. If they’re building a new hospital they can build it here in the city.

“But that being said, we are not doing anything to prevent the hospital from moving or receiving funding from the state to move.”


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