DUNKIRK – The City of Dunkirk’s Mayor was kicked out of Tuesday night’s Common Council meeting amid heated discussion about the municipality’s budget.
Mayor Willie Rosas (D) was asked to leave after speaking out of turn during discussions between council members and the city’s Fiscal Affairs Officer.
Councilman at Large Paul VanDenVouver (R) asked the chief of police to remove the mayor after reminding Robert’s Rules of Order.
“If I see you raise your hand and I don’t call on you, and you speak without having me notice you, it’s the first warning for everybody tonight, that goes for the council and everybody sitting out there tonight,” said VanDenVouver. “If I gotta say it again… (mayor interrupts) Mayor, I said hang on a minute, (mayor continues, illegible) Mayor, you hang on, (mayor continues) this is my meeting, Mayor, I said hang on, this is the council, the council member is asking, one more time I’m going to ask you to be removed, (mayor continues), Chief, please remove the mayor, (mayor continues), it’s council meeting, they have the floor, the councilmember has the floor, please remove the Mayor from the meeting.”
Rosas then returned seconds later, only to be ordered out again.
“I said you’re out, out Mayor, you’re out (mayor continues, illegible) this was suppose to be at the budget meeting then, you’re out, you’re gone,” said VanDenVouver. “Chief, if he comes back again can you escort him?”
The Mayor tells WNY News Now by kicking him out of the meeting the council was silencing his opinion. Furthermore, he says the lawmaking body has created a “toxic work environment” that prohibits proper governments.
Earlier this month the Mayor vetoed four changes made to his 2021 budget; which included a $25,000 reduction in the City Attorney’s salary, elimination of $21,000 for Department of Development for part-time seasonal workers, removal of $45,000 for the Dunkirk Local Development Corporation and the addition of $10,000 for the Common Council to retain an attorney.
The council passed a resolution overriding the vetoes. The Mayor says the move doesn’t save taxpayers any money, but rather, gives the lawmakers more control over the funding.