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Dunkirk: City still tripping over the pennies

We cannot help but have uneasy feelings about Common Council leadership through the current fiscal crisis in the city of Dunkirk. Last week, it appeared one member was more bent on finding loose change for a new sign.

“Please know that after the Council meeting, (last week) Treasurer Mark Woods brought me to his office and sat me down at his computer to show me the latest bank statement of the Bill Cease fund; and in fact, printed out this last bank statement for me,” First Ward Councilwoman Natalie Luczkowiak said. “The city in fact, has a separate account for the Bill Cease grant with Community Bank, and there is almost $77,000 in it with a monthly interest of over $250, each month.”

Big deal.

Dunkirk is dealing with a deficit that totals eight figures. It is likely more than $15 million.

We will state it again. If Dunkirk is in this hole, it is because of lax oversight by the financial, administrative and council leaders over the last six years. This is not something that happened overnight.

What’s more worrisome is Luczkowiak’s lack of understanding regarding the pain that may just be around the corner for residents in a city where the poverty rate is more than 25%. “I don’t believe (the crisis) is nightmarish at all,” she said. “We just don’t have the knowledge of how to really run a city, and hopefully, the mayor can learn from the state, I am not sure.”

Oh brother.

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