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SEP 09- SEP 17, 2014

Disagreeing With Dyster Makes You Part of the City's Problems

By Mike Hudson

September 09, 2014

If a problem falls in Niagara Falls and nobody mentions it, does it still go away?

Stop the presses!

The biggest problem facing Niagara Falls is that some people question whether or not the city has problems.

So said Mayor Paul Dyster in a videotaped interview with Brian Meyer, posted online recently.

"The skepticism of people about Western New York in general and Niagara Falls in particular about moving forward economically is one of the major obstacles to the region moving forward economically," he said.

In other words, those who would question Dyster's ideas and decisions are the ones holding the city back.

He was speaking specifically about the Hamister hotel project, in which the city handed the developer a choice parcel of downtown property appraised at more than $1.5 million and the state kicked in another $2.5 million to build a small, boxy hotel.

It was a major issue in the City Council election last November, and led to the defeat of formerly popular Councilman Sam Fruscione, who had the audacity to question the giveaway.

Construction was to have begun last April, but sources close to the situation told the Niagara Falls Reporter that there will be no groundbreaking until 2015 at the earliest.

Self confidence is what it's all about, the mayor said.

"If you're not in love with yourself, and selling yourself to the world, why would you expect the world to fall in love with you?" Dyster asked rhetorically.

Certainly, no one has ever questioned Dyster's level of self love.

Asked whether the "transformational" projects he has overseen or are currently in development – the North Main Street courthouse, the train station on Whirlpool Street and the Hamister hotel, to name three -- will result in an economic turnaround for the benighted city, Dyster modestly said that such things are largely cyclical.

"There's an old saying that nothing in this life lasts forever," he said. "Not the good things, unfortunately, but not the bad things either."

While the saying may be old, the truth of it is debatable. Niagara Falls has been in a downward economic spiral for the past half century, a decline that has accelerated over the past 20 years.

And throwing millions and millions of dollars into projects like a replacement courthouse, a replacement train station and a cookie cutter, low rent chain hotel may or may not be the best was to address the economic deterioration.

The fact that you see a problem is the problem, according to Mayor Paul Dyster.





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