By GIB SNYDER
OBSERVER City Editor
In addition to passing resolutions, the Dunkirk Common Council hears from various people, including other city officials, at its meetings. Such was the case at its most recent meeting as several topics were covered by speakers.
OBSERVER Photo by Gib Snyder
City resident and former councilman James Muscato addressed Common Council recently. One of his concerns was the absence of any city official at a recent Flag Day ceremony.
With First Ward Councilman Michael Michalski serving as at-large member in the absence of Councilwoman-at-Large Stephanie Kiyak, council heard a concern from a former council member and veteran.
James Muscato told council during the privilege of the floor he was speaking because several people had taken notice of something missing from the June 14 Flag Day ceremonies held put on at the Light House by the Elks Club.
"The Elks Club does an outstanding job. One thing that was noticeable this year, there was not one city official there," Muscato stated. "Going back in time, I'm going back quite a bit because they used to hold them on Central Avenue at the club rooms; there has always been city officials attending. This particular one, ... there was not one city official there and I know they were invited. Just take it for what it's worth."
City resident Harriet "Skeeter" Tower spoke on several issues during her turn, starting by thanking council for continuing the bike trail.
"I think that was very important for the city," she said. "I want to thank you for choosing the two houses for the land bank in our Academy Heights neighborhood. We were very excited to hear those two houses would be moving onto the tax roll."
She added thanks to the city and Second Ward Councilman William Rivera in particular for his efforts in getting an abandoned house at 209 Swan St. demolished before asking about the community garden application she filed.
"It's been in the works for a while and we'd like to move ahead on that project," she stated.
During his report time, Mayor Anthony J. Dolce responded.
"I'd like to compliment you Skeeter, you are the first application we received for the program," he said. "We will be looking at your application shortly, then we can proceed."
City resident Nick Penque told council he has been elected the new chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee.
"I just want to welcome the council and hope that we can work together and get a lot done, and the same with all other city officials," Penque stated.
Dolce congratulated Penque and noted a meeting has been set for June 28 to, "brainstorm and go over some things we can do collaboratively."
Dolce also complimented and thanked the sponsors of the festivals "for getting us going on another great festival season." He also had compliments for the Development Department.
"It takes a lot of time and effort to put these things on and we continue to work at other pressing matters in development, as well as the fun stuff," the mayor said.
In addition to approving three grant applications at the meeting, council also approved two other resolutions.
Resolution 56-2012 approved five members to the Dunkirk Industrial Development Agency effective immediately. First Ward Councilman Michael Michalski and City Clerk Lacy Lawrence were appointed along with city residents James Oddo, Thomas Murphy and Anthony Popielarz. They joined Development Director Steven Neratko, who will serve as chairman.
Dolce asked Neratko to talk about the resolution before the vote on the members who serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority.
"We needed to reform this board at this time, basically to comply with Public Officers Authority's requirements," Neratko explained. "It's time to file our annual documentation and to do so we needed to have the board."
After the meeting, Dolce added to the explanation.
"We needed to get an active board together if something comes up," he stated. "These individuals have some wonderful business experience, reputable members of the community, and I felt they would be a great addition. If something were to come up, we even considered if it was worth it keeping the board active, forming another board since the other board was not active.
"Development Director Neratko reached out to the county and they felt it best to keep the board active in case something did come up ... The IDA owns the property the Clarion sits on so that was another reason why we felt it would be best to form an active board."
Council voted to extend the tax collection agreement between the city and Chautauqua County to cover the tax years of 2012 and 2013 under Resolution 55-2012. The resolution continues the agreement between the city and county which took effect in 2010.
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