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OCT 28- NOV 05, 2014

Water Board Head Gets Big Raise, Can’t be Bothered With Taxpayers

By Mike Hudson

October 28, 2014

Water Board ED Paul Drof is not available to meet the people who pay his salary.

Paul Drof, executive director of the city’s water and sewer facilities, is expected to get a raise this year, with his $103,000 annual paycheck jumping to $110,000.

But when Niagara Falls City Council members asked the Williamsville resident to come in and answer a couple questions about the condition of a city water line, he said he couldn’t be bothered.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, who handpicked Drof and was also largely responsible for spinning the water and sewer services off as a city department and creating a private entity while he was a city councilman serving under former mayor Irene Elia, offered no comment about either Drof’s raise or his refusal to appear before the Council.

Residents on Macklem Avenue are concerned that a disaster similar to that which occurred on 72nd Street earlier this year - when road reconstruction was improperly done and old water lines were left too close to the surface resulted in freezing water lines.

Worried Macklem Ave residents sought help from the council. Council members, in turn, asked Drof to come to the council and explain the situation.

Ryan Undercoffer, the council office administrator, wrote to Drof on Oct 15.

His email reads as follows:

Subject: Invitation to 10/27 City Council meeting

Good morning Mr. Drof,

I am reaching out on behalf of the City Council to formally invite you to attend the 10/27 5 PM Council meeting. As you are aware, there are a number of issues currently being discussed by the Council and city residents that involve the Water Board, and the Council would like you to have the opportunity to address those at the meeting.

Please let me know if you can attend.



Nine days later, Drof got around to responding.

He wrote, on Oct. 24, with Caesar-like terseness:

Subject: Invitation to 10/27 City Council meeting


I will be unable to attend.


Of course, this invitation to Drof to attend the council meeting should have been sent by the Council Chairman, Charles Walker, not Undercoffer.

And it shouldn't have been an "invitation" it should have been a diplomatically worded demand for attendance with a clearly marked CC to the media.

City hall is hopeless.





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