The Niagara Reporter

Dyster continues to raise the fiscal roof as the foundation collapses

A grateful Mayor Paul Dyster promoted two men who help his reelection efforts.



By Anna Howard


There he goes again. Last week Mayor Dyster started another round of promotions for select people in city government. This time it was the fire department. While we have no doubt those promoted were dutiful employees we also have no doubt that the long range cost to the city incurred with the promotions will additionally burden the already overburdened city budget. And, we’d like to know why such long range costs aren’t calculated and presented to the public before promotions such as these are pushed through by the mayor.

We’ve spoken to city employees who aren’t in the magical circle that only Paul Dyster grants admittance to. Good hard working people at every level of city government who fail to receive promotions or overtime or stipends. People who’ve worked for many years but never seem to gain Dyster’s approval…people who aren’t in a position to deliver an entire block of votes for a spendthrift mayor who won the recent election by the skin of his 47% teeth.

Not lost on the Reporter is that these two latest promotions were given to employees who’ve been instrumental in the employee union and political action committee. Also not lost on us is the fact that the mayor was recently endorsed – in a very close election – by that union. We report you decide.

What we also know is that Mayor Dyster has incessantly laid blame for the city’s financial straits at the feet of the city’s lowly rank and file: the costs of pay, pension, health insurance. He never mentions his $50 million courthouse, his $44 million train station, $http://southbuffalonews.com4 million ice pavilion project, millions in consultant and legal fees, and on and on. Expenditures like never before seen in the history of the city.

And, after blaming the personnel costs for all that is fiscally troubling Mr. Dyster shoots his top salaries up to $http://southbuffalonews.com00,000 and beyond. He awards stipends and vast amounts of overtime to his favorite employees. Understand this: all of this profligate personnel spending for his chosen people will compound in cost to the taxpayers for decades to come when those special employees retire. And Paul Dyster has the temerity to say the city’s clerical workers and truck drivers are busting his budget? It’s too much to stomach. And it fools no one.

We know there’s a financial crisis in the city like never before: $63 million in debt and $7.4 in annual deficit. We know the mayor and council have gone through the casino funds like green grass through a goose. That nearly $http://southbuffalonews.com00 million casino dollars were expended by this administration in the past seven and a half years. And we know that the previous mayor left the city with a surplus upon leaving office. And that tells us that responsible spending and good money management in city government is indeed possible even though Paul Dyster makes it appear impossible.

We know the mayor and council craftily passed the 20http://southbuffalonews.com6 budget using $http://southbuffalonews.com2.5 million in casino funds to close the inexplicable budget gap. We know mayor and council rushed the budget passage in order to short circuit the 20http://southbuffalonews.com6 budget control and spending methods recommended by the council’s own Financial Review Panel. And we know that the Dyster administration continues to spend in outrageous and irresponsible ways even as the casino cash dries up and the city deficit and debt increase. And, both you and I know that this style of fiscal management is the height of irresponsibility because it imperils the very future of the city.

Finally, we have one question for the mayor and council: Now that the Niagara Falls financial disaster has been documented beyond question, how is it that you continue to spend the city into financial oblivion?