A short agenda and two missing members led to one of the quicker meetings the Dunkirk Common Council has held in recent years.
Business still went on, however, as councilmen Michael Michalski and Adelino Gonzalez, along with Councilwoman Stacy Szukala, approved the three resolutions on the agenda, along with most of the requests for use of city facilities.
The three members voted to approve the transfer of $17,000 between general fund lines along with moving next month's first meeting to Aug. 5 to accommodate National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 6 without comment.
OBSERVER Photo by Gib Snyder
Councilman Michael Michalski served as acting councilman-at-large Tuesday in the absence of Councilwoman-at-Large Stephanie Kiyak.
Resolution 60-2014, authorizing a contract between the city and Selective Insurance Company of New York for general liability, property, auto and professional insurance, however, did bring some discussion.
The New Jersey-based company was selected after Lawley Tradition LLC, the city's broker of record, sought bids for the coverage. Selective's bid price of $305,298 was nearly $12,000 lower than the current carrier.
Szukala said the city followed its request for proposals policy.
"We did put the ad in the paper seeking quotes for insurance carriers," she stated. "After having a few letters sent to the council asking why it's never made public so they can bid with their particular company, am I correct that this is the only one that we received?"
"We received a response from Lawley Tradition. Lawley Tradition did shop our business out to a couple different carriers and we're actually switching carriers," Michalski replied. "We're still with Lawley, we're going to go from Trident to Selective. There is somewhat of a savings there. ... The new company is about $12,000 less than what the other company was going to charge. ... I think Lawley felt the service was going to be a little bit better, too, with the new company. We are switching but we're still with Lawley; they responded to be our agent."
After the 19-minute meeting, Michalski explained the change in insurance carriers.
"The city's insurance broker of record, which is Lawley Tradition, felt that there was a need for a change," he said. "Number one, based on the cost. The cost was $12,000 cheaper to go with Selective for the same amount of coverage and they felt that there was some servicing issues with Trident. They want to try a new insurance carrier."
The money for Selective is paid through the payment the city makes to Lawley.
"It's approximately $12,000 cheaper to go with Selective. It's basically Lawley's call. They're the ones that do the servicing and everything on our claims so if they felt they could go with a cheaper insurance agent, that's their role. That's their job to try and save us some money and we appreciate them doing that."
Michalski was the only council member to speak during council's report time, commending the police for their work on July 4.
"Especially Officer Doug Switzer. He was the officer who responded to the incident at Point Gratiot with the gentleman who was there with the U-Haul. It could have turned into a very ugly situation," Michalski stated. "Thankfully, he was there. He used common sense and put two and two together and he prevented a real ugly situation from occurring. So thank you Dunkirk Police and Officer Switzer."
The only request not approved was from Family Church of Fredonia for use of the city lot between the Clarion Hotel and Tim Hortons on Aug. 24. Council felt the triathlon event scheduled for that day would be enough activity for the harborfront area. City Clerk Nicole Joiner will contact church officials about either an alternate site or date.
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