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Dunkirk: Council driving debate in city

Common Council is setting the agenda when it comes to what is getting the attention in the city of Dunkirk. In meetings over the last two months, there has been discussion on overtime, opposition to wind turbines and the approval of having a paralegal become a union position.

While we do not agree — and have noted so in the past — with the paralegal issue, we do agree with a look at overtime. Each year, according to Mayor Wilfred Rosas, about $1 million is budgeted for that line.

Looking at the two most recent years, 2018 and 2019, the city is below that threshold as each year tallied less than $900,000. That’s good management — or that line is overbudgeted.

In our recent articles on overtime, we found lots of similarities. Many who have received overtime this year were at the top in previous years. This looks a bit unhealthy, but contributes to a larger pension.

Our point in looking at the numbers is to give some greater perspective. According to seethroughny.org, the city of Dunkirk payroll was $9.5 million in 2019 — or about 9% of the payroll. Almost everyone working hourly — about 124 employees — is collecting the time and a half.

Hector Rosas, who was called out on two hours of overtime in June, is definitely not collecting what he was in 2018 and ’19. That’s due to the coronavirus and the lack of special events.

So while the city’s revenues are slumping greatly because of the virus, overtime costs will be down. That is some good fiscal news for a municipality that will likely have a deficit when all is said and done.

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