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JAN 06 - JAN 14, 2015

Dyster's Use of Casino Cash for Cop Cameras Comes into Focus

By Anna M. Howard

January 06, 2015

Mayor Dyster plunked down $22,500 for police body cameras and he did with casino cash.

Why did he raid the casino account when he could have applied for federal grant money through an initiative launched by the Obama White House just last month?

Instead of seeking the federal funds, like other municipalities, he chose to run straight to the taxpayer casino cash and write a check for cameras.

Dyster's city hall is a closed environment where cash flows like water for raises, stipends, overtime, consultants, contracts and "transformative projects" such as the train station, courthouse and soon to be Dyster Doghouse.

Dyster is so insistent upon opening his own animal shelter that he earmarked $1.6 million of casino cash in both the 2015 and 2016 city budgets.

We have no issues with the police cameras. That's not the question at the moment. Instead we have to ask why Dyster made this move and who will be the camera supplier?

And by the way, how are police cameras to be considered "economic development". Dyster's argument against the use of casino money when he doesn't want it used is "It is not economic development."

The entire process appears similar to the mayor's manner of purchasing $2.3 million of trash totes with casino money.

In both instances there was no discussion, no transparency, and a manufactured "sense of urgency".

One parting thought since the "casino cash for cop cameras" is a done deal with the taxpayer money already spent: maybe it's time to put cameras in the city hall offices where the big decisions are made.

It's time for us to hear what conversations are taking place, what phone calls are being made and learn who the city government shot-callers really are.





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