The Niagara Reporter

What’s Really Going on With the Rumored City Hall Personnel Changes?

In our last edition, the Reporter explained how the mayor ordered his top personnel to submit updated resumes if they hoped to keep their jobs. Sources told us the mayor was going to rely heavily on the council to review the resumes. The council was to help him decide who had been naughty or nice.

Our column warned that involving the council in personnel matters violated the city charter. It appears the column was read inside city hall because the council has declined to act as Dyster’s personnel management flunky.

However, we understand that Mr. Mayor, incapable of making command decisions on his own, has formed a Personnel Retention Committee. The committee is said to be made up of his secretary Nick Melson, a Dyster family member, a female officer from the city democratic committee, and a yet to be identified man. The PRC (no, we won’t pronounce this acronym) will review non union employees and give a thumbs up or down. This Dyster system is a mixture of the ancient Roman Coliseum and the former Soviet Politburo. Such is the mayor’s understanding of personnel management.

Just as we advised the council against becoming involved in the mayor’s personnel gamesmanship, so too do we advise against the civilian members of the Personnel Retention Committee becoming enmeshed in the mayor’s personnel problems.

City employees who are fired or demoted due to the behavior of the PRC could take legal action. If so the PRC members would find themselves as defendants in court. If the mayor or city administrator were to recommend dismissal or demotion that would be one thing, but delegating those duties to the civilian sector is to invite lawsuits.

The mayor should do what he was elected to do: command city government and personally make the difficult decisions…such as removing inadequate employees. But that raises a key question: is the mayor interested in better government or government he can better manipulate?

Nick Melson is said to have an increasingly powerful role in the Dyster administration.