Vacancies

There are a few familiar faces which people won’t see as often around Dunkirk’s City Hall. Recent and soon-to-be retirees have left some vacancies in several offices, including parks and recreation, the city clerk’s and treasurer’s offices.

The most recent vacancy occurred in the city clerk’s office as stenographer Chris McGraw called it a career on April 5, leaving City Clerk Lacy Lawrence and typist Grace Tarnowski to man the office for the time being. At one time the office was staffed with four people, counting the city clerk.

The 2012 retirement of Charlotte Buchanan from the personnel department has caused a problem in the treasurer’s office due to bidding, and the rules that accompany the process. Kathy Steele was one of the account clerk/typists in the treasurer’s office before bidding on the vacancy created when Buchanan retired. Steele has completed the necessary testing and is now on the job in the personnel department.

That leaves Treasurer Mark Woods along with clerks Paula Lakas and Richard Olrogg available to collect taxes, water bill payments and answer questions.

The recent retirement of Parks and Recreation Coordinator Tom Rozumalski comes right before what is arguably the busiest time of the year for those departments. When Rozumalski turned in his city cell phone to City Clerk Lacy Lawrence he advised her to not give it out again as city league managers know the number – and use it. For the time being, clerk/typist Patty Pleszewski is left in the department.

“We will continue to work diligently to fill present and upcoming retirements in a way that is most efficient for all parties involved and within the outlined parameters,” Mayor Anthony J. Dolce said of vacancies. “Each position will be evaluated on its own, with the intent on how to best serve the public kept at the forefront.”

A flow chart updated in January that lists city employees by department and title shows vacancies, mainly in public works. Public works employees are represented by AFSCME AFL-CIO Local 912 and are currently working under terms of a contract that expired Dec. 31, 2011. The city’s management union, represented by United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union AFL-CIO-CLC Local 2693 COD, is currently working under terms of a contract that expired Dec. 31, 2010.

Dolce said negotiations are continuing.

“Two meetings, one with each union, are scheduled this month with the outstanding union contracts,” he explained.

The city’s police and firefighters unions have current contracts, although the firefighters contract expires Dec. 31 of this year. The police contract was agreed to in January of this year and expires Dec. 31, 2015.

The city’s unions are covered under the state’s Taylor Law, which prohibits government employees from striking in return for binding arbitration provisions when other options are exhausted.

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