Big-money events, no accountability

Even Dunkirk Common Council cannot get answers when it comes to a balance sheet for the annual summer festivals that are held on the waterfront. In fact, council members during a Finance Committee meeting in December seemed to be getting more of a runaround than answers regarding what is happening with revenues and expenses.

“Going forward, we would like to see a monthly report for the festivals,” said Andrew Woloszyn, Dunkirk councilman at-large. “I know there’s been some push back on that as to confidentiality reasons, and I understand those. We’re not asking for those types of specifics. All I want to see is numbers; I don’t care about names.”

All festivals are held under the Dunkirk Local Development Corp. umbrella and are technically not part of the city budget. But Dunkirk was a recent recipient of a $225,000 grant from the Regional Economic Development Council for the organization to develop and present the Dunkirk Great Lakes Grand Prix Boat Races.

Those funds — all taxpayer dollars — must be accounted for in the future. As for the past, city residents — and council members — have no idea what the financial impact and cost of the August boat race was.

Without that knowledge — or any true profit and loss spreadsheet — council members are correct to be asking questions about accountability.