NewsLocal News


Dunkirk mayor kicked out of common council meeting

Posted at 11:42 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 23:42:34-05

DUNKIRK, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Dunkirk Common Council meeting on Tuesday night didn't go entirely as planned.

"Mayor, you hang on, this is my meeting,” shouted Common Council Member-at-Large Paul VanDenVouver, while he slammed the gavel.

The common council was questioning a city worker about the amount of insurance it would take to cover a group of employees. Mayor Wilfred Rosas tried to add some input to the line of questioning.

“The more detailed piece of the questions would have been better answered by the city treasurer, as well as the mayor,” explained Mayor Rosas.

VanDenVouver told the mayor he needed to wait to speak.

“Raise your hand. I'll call on you. Don't interrupt the people that are talking. When I call on you, you can speak and then shortly after that the mayor just started interrupting,” explained Donald Williams, a Dunkirk Common Council member.

“Out mayor! Out!” yelled VanDenVouver.

“You don't understand the budget!” the mayor shouted back.

You can watch the meeting in its entirety by clicking this link.

Members of the common council say the mayor was removed because he was not following the rules of the meeting.

The mayor says, he wasn't allowed to assist because of ongoing disagreements between him and the council.

“This council, from day one, has come in to disrupt the progress that we have made here in the City of Dunkirk,” explained Rosas, who has been mayor for five years.

With local governments, including Dunkirk, dealing with the financial ramifications of COVID-19, the two parties will be forced to interact. Both the mayor and members of the common council say they're willing to do that in a more cooperative manner.

“If he wants to work with us. We're willing to work with him,” explained Williams.

“I would like us to sit down and see us talking openly,” said Mayor Rosas.

The mayor has been asked to not return to common council meetings this year.