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Following the money in the city

I tried to watch the Common Council meeting on July 7 but I was distracted by the noisy crowd outside of City Hall. I found out the next day in the OBSERVER that Democrats were protesting against council members.

It seems that at the last council meeting, the creation of a paralegal position was contested by Marsha Beach, city fiscal affairs officer. She states with the looming deficit that spending any money not budgeted beforehand is going to deal a negative blow to the city.

What she failed to mention was there was funding saved in the elimination of positions earlier this year. Both Dave Campola, former human resources director, and Vicki Westling, a confidential secretary, were axed.

Eliminating those positions saved the city more than $100,000. So with that savings, the council did not add any unplanned expenses to the budget.

Why can’t the fiscal affairs officer figure this out? Because of her bias. This whole thing is a political football.

It’s about time the residents here begin protesting the actions of this administration. Why has the downtown district been forgotten the last four years? A drug clinic is coming to Dunkirk and our hospital is supposed to be going to Fredonia.

Why is this city’s business district continually on the short end of the stick? Where is the mayor’s concern about these issues?

At the last council meeting, the mayor stated that he was not involved in the methadone clinic coming to Dunkirk. That’s bull.

All these vacant sites in downtown. Where are owners of these buildings that are eyesores?

As for the methadone clinic, there is a tie to the mayor. There were political contributions made by Engenio Russi to the mayor’s campaign in 2019. Contributions totaled $1,800.

That appears to be a conflict of interest.

That clinic should be in a hospital — not in our business district.

Richard Makuch is a Dunkirk resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com

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