Is city getting its money’s worth?

The city workers in the city of Dunkirk are dedicated and do a job that they are paid for and more.

Some departments are short-handed, but they do the best they can under those circumstances, especially the streets department. They have lost employees through the years without being replaced, but the job is being done with sometimes overtime when the city has experienced a bad winter. The water department has been working under harsh conditions when there are water breaks in the lines. The City Hall employees are also there when you need them for assistance.

But there is one department that is under scrutiny, very close scrutiny, and that is the city law office. The city attorney, who is paid more than $75,000 a year by the city taxpayers, has a sideline private practice which takes him to the county courthouse. Just on one case alone, the city attorney spent numerous hours away from his desk in City Hall.

My question is: how can the taxpayers get their money’s worth from the city attorney when he has a private practice? How can the city attorney dedicate himself to this city when he is in Mayville in county court representing a private client?

Why hasn’t the City Council done their job and questioned him on this type of behavior away from his duties as a city attorney? This not only looks bad for this administration, the mayor, and council, but also is not representing this city the way his job is titled him to do.

His position is an appointed one, therefore, either he does his job as a city attorney or resigns and puts his full effort into his private practice. You can’t do justice to both positions. It is impossible.

Someone in City Hall better wake up. The taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth from this office.

Richard Makuch is a Dunkirk resident. Send comments to