(Ed note: 20http://southbuffalonews.com6 is here and, like many publications, the Niagara Falls Reporter wishes to recap the year just gone by. Since Mayor Paul Dyster is likely to be around for another four years, we might just as well look at his accomplishments in the past year. This story and the http://southbuffalonews.com0 selections contained in it were written by everyone’s favorite critic of Mayor Dyster –Anna Howard.)
#http://southbuffalonews.com0 – The roof caves in on the Dyster administration’s housing rehabilitation program
The Isaiah 6http://southbuffalonews.com housing rehab program, supported with casino revenue dollars and planned to be headquartered in a condemned fire hall, that’s administered by Mayor Dyster’s fair haired favorite bureaucrat, Seth Piccirillo, literally brought the roof down by “accidentally” demolishing a home on Centre Avenue that they were supposedly rehabilitating. No lives were lost when the home came tumbling down, but the reputation of the Isaiah 6http://southbuffalonews.com program was pronounced DOA upon the building’s collapse. No matter, the mayor continues to use taxpayer dollars to support this non-transparent government/not for profit hybrid program.
#9 – City’s plan to build a cricket field bugs Little League parents
While the city’s debt and deficit soared to frightening new heights in 20http://southbuffalonews.com5, and as Little League parents lobbied Dyster for better maintained baseball diamonds in Hyde Park, His Honor ignored the needs of youth baseball and their parents’ respectful wishes by insisting on constructing a cricket field in LaSalle for a small group of wealthy and influential professionals of Indian descent. The cricket aficionados were largely from the greater Buffalo area but had somehow gained Mayor Dyster’s ear as the mayor sought re-election. Dyster rebutted critics by saying he supported diversity.
#8 Mayor Dyster refuses to take his failed trash plan to the curb
Paul Dyster launched a costly, poorly planned, and horribly coordinated trash and recycling program in spring of 20http://southbuffalonews.com4. His troubled trash plan actually got worse in 20http://southbuffalonews.com5 as the mayor added costly additional trash pickup options in a clumsy attempt to silence the complainers. Mr. Dyster then swelled the city employee overhead by hiring his campaign photographer and political operative, Brook D’Angelo, to manage his SWEET trash enforcement program. Blue tote, green tote, Totes McGoat…all of it failed to float the residents’ boat.
#7 Poverty pimping and pseudo economic development programming expands
Coming into office in 2008 with high hopes and boisterous promises regarding imminent economic development initiatives Mayor Dyster quickly abandoned his lofty “green economy” campaign promises in favor of moving registered sex offenders into the city, opening homeless shelters, expanding subsidized housing, and cutting the ribbon on heroin addiction treatment centers. Nothing epitomizes this race to the bottom better than how the Fichte Eye Center sold its 24th Street facility to a drug treatment agency while choosing to build their new multi-million dollar eye center in the Town of Niagara. We don’t blame Fichte, it was a smart business move.
#6 Dyster-DeSantis train station breaks ground while going off the rails
The mayor, to great fanfare, broke ground on his $45 million train station that has yet to establish a source for its annual operating budget even though the facility will open its doors in 20http://southbuffalonews.com6. No operating budget and no visible means of support but none of that matters as this http://southbuffalonews.com9th century mode of transportation boondoggle prepares to support Dyster-DeSantis, along with their consultant and engineering friends, in the style they’ve grown accustomed to. All aboard as the residents are taken for a costly ride.
#5 Hamister Hotel project is deader than dead 26 months after contract was inked
It’s the development project that never was and never will be that was supposed to have been more than two years ago. The would-be development project lumbered to life through a murky selection process that saw mayor and USA Niagara gift a $http://southbuffalonews.com.5 million piece of downtown property to Dyster and Cuomo supporter, Mark Hamister. It was a stacked deck that drove councilman Sam Fruscione, who had the nerve to question the project, from office. The project planning went forward and set records for non-transparent contractual clauses that continue to cost the city taxpayers more than two years later.
#4 Candidate Dyster limps to a third term with a flaccid 47% of the vote
Two termer Mayor Dyster nearly had his political career nixed by councilman Glenn Choolokian as the council member came within 65 votes of winning the mayoral primary. Things took a very strange turn in the general election however as Choolokian’s insistence on staying in the race as a write-in candidate drew http://southbuffalonews.com300 votes and cost John Accardo the mayor’s office. Dyster – due to accident or design – owes his political life to Choolokian, an elected official he has never had a single good word to say about…until election night. Hmm.
#3 City hall gives 72nd St. residents cold shoulder for second straight year
After allowing the residents of 72nd Street to suffer through two winters of frozen water lines, the mayor presented himself in 20http://southbuffalonews.com5 as the savior of the neighborhood. This after he had cruelly ignored their plight for two and half years as residents had to flush their toilets using buckets of water hauled from the fire hall down the street. His Honor’s repair job rose in cost from $300,000 to $650,000 to a current (and growing) cool $http://southbuffalonews.com,000,000. The news of the waterless neighborhood gained state wide exposure in the summer of 20http://southbuffalonews.com5 as well it should have. The news coverage failed to redden Dyster’s face.
#2 Debt and deficit grow as city finances confound the Financial Advisory Panel
With a shocking debt of more than $63 million and an inexplicably fluctuating 20http://southbuffalonews.com5 budget deficit of $7.6 million Mayor Dyster and the city council essentially told their own Financial Advisory Panel to stick their fiscal management recommendations where the calculator don’t shine. Mayor and council then approved the 20http://southbuffalonews.com6 budget after tacking on seven secretive budget amendments while no one was looking on November http://southbuffalonews.com7. And, incredibly enough, this all went down totally unnoticed and completely unremarked upon save for the Reporter.
#http://southbuffalonews.com Dyster administration continues to stonewall the State Comptroller’s findings
The NYS Controller performed a five month audit of city finances and then released a lengthy report in June 20http://southbuffalonews.com3. That audit discovered: millions of dollars inside the budget that were improperly concealed from the mayor and council; more than $http://southbuffalonews.com million of taxpayer cash that couldn’t be found; and, casino money repeatedly misused to improperly close the city’s strangely recurring budget deficit. Why there hasn’t been a thorough state investigation into the disturbing audit findings as revealed by the State Comptroller’s 20http://southbuffalonews.com3 report is an unsolved mystery.