There is so much blame being thrown around about city finances, but where were the people who really were needed while this was going on?
Where were the OBSERVER and Housing Urban Development? HUD is acting as if they were never contacted about Dunkirk's Community Development Block Grants.
I myself made a written complaint to HUD about the disbursing of CDBG funds in 2009. Oh yes, HUD was sympathetic but it was just a slap on the wrist for CDBG, so it continued. But so did I.
All I asked for from Dunkirk Department of Development in my second request was five addresses that funds were used for. Why did First Ward get double the money than the Third Ward received for repairs? Nothing so hard about this request but I couldn't get them. Now I will have to go through a Freedom of Information request, but will I get them?
When I spoke to the First Ward councilman, he thought the percentage wasn't bad, so I continued on my own. The whole city knows the answers I received from the past development director and his assistant, no addresses, only another question and another stall.
My next concern is why wasn't the OBSERVER at the library committee meeting when the Fourth Ward councilwoman, the council's library representative, voted with Pat Frey, who was the library chair, in favor of the library. They approved $17,000 of city money for back taxes so Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. could then buy 539 Washington Ave.
OBSERVER, does the chair person here matter, or was this library meeting so secret? Most of the time you covered budget issues so well, but with such an expenditure of city money I feel the newspaper should have been there.
This meeting was a fiasco as the chair was going to vote without a quorum; however, Sam Mancuso, another member, walked in to create a quorum in favor. The committee from the PARC group never had a chance. All we wanted was a few days to speak with COI officials on number of apartments they intended to put in the Park Avenue house. That $17,000 is a lot of money. Could that come from CDBG, DLDC, HUD funds or city budget? At resolution time, Mayor Richard Frey told the council that it came from city revenue.
Then at budget time, I asked auditors to remove a sentence in our audit book that stated it wasn't for public use. This was our audit and anyone could receive it, so why was it there and for how many budgets? The public should have had access to this book as well as the council, so it was removed. And this is why we pay auditors so much money. Unless the state does as the Board of Education did and have all entities change auditors every three years (because we become friendly) this will continue in every entity.
We always had a finance committee so why blame the present mayor? At least you can ask Mayor Anthony J. Dolce a question without getting chewed out as before. All are to blame because we trusted after questioning even their falsehoods.
I am very sorry for the length of this letter but suddenly HUD seems bent out of shape when they should have been concerned before.
Rose Floramo is a Dunkirk resident.