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DUNKIRK Overtime part of larger woes

The OBSERVER’s View

For viewers hoping to see and hear good government, the Dunkirk Common Council meetings have become tougher on the ears than nails on a chalkboard. Almost from the start in January, lines were drawn by the three new Republican representatives and First Ward representative Donald Williams Jr.

They came with an agenda of tarnishing whatever recent accomplishments have been made, taking aim specifically at Mayor Wilfred Rosas. Though we have no problem with council’s beliefs of checks and balances, a mayor is elected to lead — not to constantly be on the defensive.

To be fair, Councilwoman Nancy Nichols is not in the wrong to question recent overtime for Festivals’ Chairman Hector Rosas. In fact, we encourage more of the discussion.

But no council member — even those in the past — has ever taken on the issue of overtime that drives salaries as high as $143,000 per year in the city. It is almost as if council would rather complain about a mayor’s relative who makes about half that amount than to complain about another public servant who is cashing in while readying to retire.

Ignoring those big bucks while criticizing loose change is what has driven sky-high city budgets of the present and past. Dunkirk’s budget for this year will end up in the red — possibly as much as $2 million.

That’s a serious problem.

More constructive discussion from the council and mayor on potential solutions is necessary now rather than later. Besides, arguing only hurts the city’s image. There is no need for that damage.

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