‘Faithful to the town’:Pagan named new supervisor in Dunkirk

OBSERVER Photos by Braden Carmen Juan Pagan was selected as the next supervisor of the town of Dunkirk

The obvious choice was made to fill the vacant town supervisor position in Dunkirk.

The Dunkirk Town Board officially selected Juan Pagan to fill the role of supervisor for the rest of the year. The decision, which came at the March monthly meeting, was unanimous among the three other acting members of the board.

Pagan fills the vacancy that occurred after the death of Town Supervisor Richard “Dick” Purol, who named Pagan as Deputy Supervisor in the last meeting before his untimely death.

“Juan Pagan has been the Deputy Supervisor for many years. Dick Purol had tremendous faith in his capabilities, and relied on him to pick up the slack if it was ever needed,” said Town Board member Priscilla Penfold. “He’s faithful to the town and he’s loyal to his constituents. It is my privilege and honor to move to appoint Juan Pagan as Dunkirk Town Supervisor for the remainder of this year.”

Town Board member Jay Bishop added, “I will second that, and I would also like to add my support for Supervisor Juan Pagan, who has served proudly on this council for the last six years. He has been a tremendous leader — not only does he go to the meetings, he comes back and gives us great reports so we know what’s going on. He will be a wonderful Town Supervisor, and I wholeheartedly second the motion.”

Jean Crane was appointed to the Dunkirk Town Board to fill Juan Pagan’s seat.

Penfold was designated as the new Deputy Supervisor of the Town of Dunkirk, in place of Pagan.

“I think I can probably speak for all of us on the Town Council that this is a tender period for us. We’re still mourning the loss of our Supervisor, who had an encyclopedic knowledge of our town and was an incredible leader, and really did a wonderful job,” said Bishop.

Jean Crane, a former Dunkirk town clerk with many years of experience, was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Pagan. Crane was one of two candidates considered for the role, along with Shari Miller of the Town of Dunkirk Planning Board.

Bishop moved to appoint Crane, stating, “… Based on her over 20 years of experience with the Town Clerk position, based on the fact that we have a Supervisor that is relatively new in the Supervisor’s skin, and because this is a tender period, we need to have strong leadership that has a working knowledge of the town and can hit the ground running.”

Pagan and Crane will fill their new roles for the rest of the 2023 year, and each will appear on the ballot in November, should they choose to continue. The election in November will determine who serves out the remaining term of the previous officials, which each will have one year remaining. After that one-year term, the roles will each be up for election again, with a full four-year term to begin in 2025.

The Town Board also scheduled another workshop to discuss the proposed law to regulate short-term rental properties for Tuesday, April 11, at 5 p.m. at the Town Hall. A list of questions from the board will be addressed by the town’s consultant, who has reviewed a draft of the law the town has crafted.

“Hopefully, with all our minds put together, we can finally put this to rest at some point,” Pagan said.

The next meeting of the Dunkirk Town Board was moved back a week from its regularly scheduled third Tuesday of the month. The meeting will now take place on April 25, at 6:30 p.m.


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