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ENDORSEMENT Council’s weak, strong races

On Monday, we endorsed for Dunkirk Common Council Wards Three and Four. Today, we take on the rest. Ward Two, held by Martin Bamonto, is unchallenged.

¯ WARD ONE — This is the weakest of the Common Council races. Incumbent Donald Williams Jr. has stabbed his own Democratic party in the back by throwing his support behind city mayoral candidate Shaun Heeanan, who is backed by the Republican party. It has made for a tremendously uncomfortable situation for the party. While not supporting incumbent Wilfred Rosas is his choice, it is dishonest to those members who have supported him in previous elections. Challenger Dennis Welka is running on the Republican line, though the city committee did not back him as a candidate. He has pointed out plenty that he sees wrong in city government, but offers no plan for correction. We offer no endorsement.

¯ AT-LARGE — On the flip side, this is possibly the strongest of the races. Frank Beach has a diverse background in business and was the first person to actively campaign in Dunkirk against the relocation of Brooks Memorial Hospital. He is informed, understands how to get things done and has a private-sector background that is desperately needed in City Hall. Paul VanDenVouver has been no stranger to recent Common Council meetings. He’s voiced his displeasure in regard to personnel and a lack of transparency. He has a right to be upset. But coming with a plan — and not just attacks — is a better way to get the message across. He also knows Dunkirk’s recent history and its many mistakes. Both will have solid voices depending on who is elected, but VanDenVouver gets our backing.

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Agree or disagree?

The OBSERVER encourages letters to the editor regarding local and state races. Letters regarding the election must be submitted by 5 p.m. Oct. 29. We will be publishing letters on the election Nov. 2-3. Any questions can be directed to jdagostino@observertoday.com or 366-3000, ext. 401.

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