Dunkirk, NY – By Natalie Luczkowiak, Endorsed Democrat Candidate for First Ward
Once again, our city council has voted to delay progress in the City of Dunkirk. At the last council meeting, when given an opportunity to work with our Mayor, our first ward councilman voted to table the appointment of a Planning and Development Director; a qualified and competent professional with whom he and the other council members have worked with for the past several years. This is one more attempt to promote chaos. This is one more action taken by our first ward councilman for purely personal and vindictive reasons.
Since coming into office, Mayor Rosas has brought in competent professionals to serve as members of his cabinet. There was an ineffective planning and development department, but he worked tirelessly to make the necessary changes. He first brought in a seasoned professional, Duane Beard, to put much-needed policies in place and to streamline the department. Rebecca Wurster was hired in his first year as Mayor and served the City for five years. With Rebecca’s experience and the Mayor’s federal and state connections, the City has been the recipient of nearly $15 million dollars, with another recent promise of just over $11 million in stimulus funds.
The first candidate (to replace Ms. Wurster) although highly qualified, was never presented in resolution form because our first ward councilman (had previously) pushed through a resolution requiring at least two council members to sponsor a resolution. Since there was only one Democrat Council Member, Marty Bamonto, willing to sponsor the resolution, it could not be presented. Again, it was the City residents who were the losers; thank you councilman Williams! As a result of this atrocious show of vindictiveness, it was necessary to have an acting director. After much discussion, Jill Meaux accepted the position as acting director to temporarily fill the position.
This brings us to the most recent council meeting in which the resolution to appoint Ms. Meaux, the now acting director, to the position of Director was tabled. Members of this council have worked with Ms. Meaux since they came into office in January 2020 – their tabling of this resolution was personal. There was no legitimate reason given for tabling this resolution to appoint Ms. Meaux. It is not the job of the city council members to interview candidates for appointed positions as members of the Mayor’s cabinet. Their tabling this resolution was one more tactic to delay progress in our city. It was one more over-reach by this council to stall the Mayor’s attempt to keep the City moving forward. And for Don Williams, our current first ward councilman, to second the motion to table this resolution was another example of his bias against the Mayor. The only member of the council who stood for doing the right thing was our second ward councilman, Marty Bamonto; unfortunately, his fellow democrat stood with the other side.
We need to stop the gridlock and chaos that is hampering progress for our city. We need to work together to move the city forward, and that means putting aside personal feelings and working for the residents and in the best interest of our city. Don Williams and his continued vindictive actions must be stopped. Our city’s administration has been decimated by his, and this city council’s actions. We need a strong Planning and Development Department, and that means a competent and experienced Director, that person is Jill Meaux; tabling the resolution to appoint her was without merit, and our first ward councilman should apologize to her, the Mayor and to all of us. Let’s remember what he has done to destroy the morale of our employees, eliminate staff, and impede the progress of our city! Vote in the upcoming June 22nd Primary, Vote Natalie Luczkowiak! Vote for Progress!