Mayoral system in city ‘outdated’

The disclosure last month that the city owes a contractor $35,000 for work approved by the mayor and Department of Public Works, but not the council, is the latest in a series of management screw ups.

It follows paving that was talked about for two years, but the work was postponed until the cold weather set in. This required heating the existing pavement before the overlay could be placed.

This caused extra cost and considerable air pollution. The resulting pavement apparently did not meet compaction specifications as it is already raveling and producing new potholes.

Before that it was building the new elevated water tank when a ground level tank at a higher site would have given the needed extra storage capacity; failing to maintain the water plant causing a $16-million repair project; overspending on Memorial Park; buying expensive, unusable, contaminated sites for development that has not happened; failure to maintain the first ward lake wall so we could replace it for $3 million; and paving streets to the top of the curb, flooding lawns and driveways.

If you attended the September walk-about with the advisors from the Buffalo area, you heard some good advice.

They said our present form of city management was outdated. They suggested moving to a city manager type setup where a professional manager is in charge of the city work, not the mayor.

We usually elect the best politician rather than a good manager, and in Dunkirk the results are not hard to find.

Dick Mirth is a Dunkirk resident.