Newsmaker of the month: Bullying faction of council proud of latest exit | News, Sports, Jobs

Mayor Wilfred Rosas

After taking office in early January, US MP Nick Langworthy called Wilfred Rosas to establish a relationship with the mayor of Dunkirk. During that call, Langworthy learned that the county’s powerful Democrat was unlikely to be around long.

“He was an absolute gentleman” Langworthy said of his interaction. “I think it’s a shame when someone leaves the stage so quickly.”

However, the Republicans of the Dunkirk Council do not share the same views. For more than three years, the faction has intimidated the mayor by taking away small but important items. These members would not grant minimal raises to his department heads.

They cut his travel expenses. They even ousted two of its former and highly respected development directors by fostering a hostile work environment.

In a way, the bullying worked. Rosas, who has devoted so much time to important city affairs, decided to have enough this month. He would not seek a third term.

“While I enjoyed my time as mayor, my family suffered; and my family is my top priority.” said the mayor when deciding not to seek re-election.

Whoever steps in — be it Democratic nominee Kate Wdowiasz or whoever the Republicans vote for — there’s no question the community will lose some hard-earned leverage. Filling your shoes is a big challenge for everyone.

Rosas solidified his legacy when the city received $10 million through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative in January. Those funds were a gift to Dunkirk — and cultivated by Rosa’s trips to Albany, Buffalo, and sometimes New York City, which helped build relationships and popularize the community for those who would only have heard about it through a 2017 film of that name .

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The same mayor’s travel expenses have been jealously and maliciously cut by the council for the last three years because of what they were considering “Overspending”. We hope residents know better than to believe. Those costs amounted to – maybe – $10,000 a year. On a $26 million spending plan, that’s shards of ice in a glacier-sized budget.

Incidentally, that $10 million was an excellent return on an investment that took more time than travel money. The same elected officials who worked so hard to topple a respected mayor over the past three years have done little to nothing to improve the city.

Take a look around, there’s a lot that needs improvement – especially around an often desolate block of City Hall. This money earmarked for downtown can help spur additional investment around the waters of Lake Erie, possibly from outsiders.

It won’t be an easy sale. Dunkirk is often its own worst enemy.

This council’s relationship with the mayor is a precise example of this.

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