Metropolis dealing with deadline on new lawyer


With Richard Morrisroe’s time in the job growing short, Dunkirk has still not hired a city attorney.

Mayor Wilfred Rosas and Common Council Democrats want Michael Bobseine for the job. However, Republicans on council provided enough votes last week to keep the issue tabled. They initially tabled Bobseine’s hire at the Dec. 6 council meeting.

Democrat Martin Bamonto wanted a vote on Bobseine Tuesday, and he wanted a “yes” vote.

“He comes with an impeccable resume,” he said of Bobseine. “I think he’d be a great asset to the city. It should be a no-brainer that we bring him in.”

Natalie Luczkowiak joined Bamonto in seeking a vote on Bobseine, but they were outvoted by David Damico, Nancy Nichols and James Stoyle. None of them offered any comment on the matter.

“We, as the council, simply needed to consent to the fact that attorney Bobseine is, in fact, an attorney as it is the mayor’s job to pick an attorney for his executive staff. The mayor has presented an attorney that is very competent with experience in municipal law, we need that,” Luczkowiak said. “We are now a city at risk without an attorney. Today was attorney Morrisroe’s last day. We can’t afford outside counsel, we saw how that affected the village of Fredonia, costing over $200,000. We can’t afford that.”

A source of concern for Republicans on council is that Bobseine lives in Fredonia.

A letter to the OBSERVER from former councilmen Paul VanDenVouver, an independent who was elected as a Republican, and Don Williams, a Working Families Party member who often aligns with the Republicans, noted Dunkirk code, not the charter, notes that its attorney must live in the city.

However, when Morrisroe was first by Rosas hired he lived in Buffalo and no previous council member balked at that. Before then, previous city attorney Dan Gard who served under Mayor Richard Frey in 2008– also hired by Common Council from 2020 to 2021 — was a resident of Silver Creek. Additionally, Fredonia resident Michael Cerrie served under Frey as city attorney as well.

Earlier in Tuesday’s meeting, Rosas offered a farewell to Morrisroe, who was attending his last scheduled council session before his Jan. 1 resignation takes effect.

“I would just like to publicly commend the job that he has done,” the mayor said. “When he came in, we told him that he had a year to move into the city. He moved his family into the city, and I really appreciate the work that he’s done, and he’s done a good job for the city. I just wanted to acknowledge that today is his last day.”

Morrisroe then received a round of applause.

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