DUNKIRK: City needs to keep an informed tone

City of Dunkirk residents may not want to hear the coming reality, but it is best the city officials put it out there now rather than later: get ready for a property-tax increase. That, for the most part, was the discussion at last week’s Finance Committee meeting.

“There will definitely be a tax increase next year,” said Mark Woods, City of Dunkirk Treasurer. “The dollar amount, we don’t know yet.”

Unfortunately, this gathering has become far too compelling. It was in this committee where the call was made — before the fiscal crisis became public — for department heads to start reining in spending and watching overtime.

It probably needed to happen long ago, but it appears no one within City Hall — before January — was being honest about paying attention to the finances. Fredonia, for its part, is starting to become concerned as well.

This week, its village treasurer outlined all three funds – and the deficits they were running. This has not happened in the city in recent memory, which is one part of the problem.

Acknowledging those figures needs to become a common practice since just touching on the day-to-day issues means no one is watching the cash register. We’ve witnessed the damage that’s done.

It’s not small change. It is potentially an $18 million hole that residents will have to help fill in.


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