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DUNKIRK: Nice reward, wrong time

It was a pleasant sight in the city of Dunkirk on Tuesday evening. Council members and Mayor Wilfred Rosas were working in harmony, understanding and applauding the excellent work that has been accomplished by Rebecca Wurster, the city’s director of planning and development.

During Tuesday’s meeting, council unanimously approved a significant pay increase of 13% for Wurster, that takes her to $70,500 per year. Obviously, no one can deny all the work she has done along the waterfront and with numerous businesses. Even council members were in agreement on her significance.

“Rebecca has done a wonderful job for the city, we’re proud to have her on board,” Fourth Ward Councilwoman Nancy Nichols said. “She has all the answers when you ask her a question; we’re glad that you’re here Rebecca.”

This corner also has been impressed with her work. However, when the economy is collapsing around us, a 13% pay hike — no matter how warranted — is highly questionable.

Council, in January and February, was all about fiscal responsibility. That was even before the bleak COVID-19 crisis. Now, as revenues have come to a screeching halt while expenses continue at a steady stream, they approve a pay hike of 13%?

Plenty of financial woes await Dunkirk and all municipalities. Pay raises, at this time, are not responsible when millions are losing jobs.

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