Dunkirk: Lighting a fire for quick action
After watching the overly slow 2023 Dunkirk budget deliberations by Common Council that took three months and went down to the wire, we figured those members had two speeds: slow and stop. We stand corrected after last week’s Finance Committee meeting.
Dunkirk Fire Chief Michael Edwards said his department needs two new pumpers as soon as possible, emphasizing the age of the department’s three current pumpers, and noted the continually rising cost of equipment. Councilman James Stoyle, who rarely shows urgency during the monthly meetings, wanted this issue rectified immediately.
“Time is of the essence when we order these,” he said at the meeting. “We can’t have 10 committees diddle around and look at this.”
Stoyle is absolutely correct. In stating his case for the new equipment, he is keeping to his campaign vow of 2021 that he wants to address problems while providing the city worker with the “tools to do it.”
But Stoyle — like other council members — lose their way if the issue being discussed is not up their alley. It is why members nearly lost out on a competent city attorney in Michael Bobseine — kicking his hiring down the road to the 11th hour. It is also why they botched the 2023 spending plan that was proposed in October but not finalized until nearly Christmas.
Maybe some urgency — especially in a public safety issue — is what council needs. Lord knows every issue is not as cut and dry as filling in winter potholes.