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JULY 28 - AUGUST 04, 2015

Dyster Orders up Sweet Job for SWEET Employee Brook D’Angelo

By Anna Howard

JULY 28, 2015

She works for her money: Brook D'Angelo at a press event filming Mayor Dyster.

Mayor Paul Dyster did it, just as we predicted: he created a full time civil service position for Brook D’Angelo, the mayor’s SWEET team data entry operator, and City Democratic Committee operative, who has faithfully served His Honor for the past several years.

In what may be the wordiest job title ever created at city hall Dyster’s HR department is calling Ms. D’Angelo’s job, “Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Team (SWEET) Program Coordinator.” That is the official civil service title contained on the job announcement dated July 11. The first date for filing an application was July 13 and the final day for filing is July 29. The examination date is September 12.

The pay ranges from $29,984 to $37,413 per year.

We have little doubt that the higher end of the pay scale will be set for the mayor’s gal as she successfully comes though the examination and interview process at Dyster’s orders. By civil service law an applicant must be among the top three exam finishers in order to be interviewed for the position. However, we’ve been told that there may have been an “internal ruling” in city hall that Ms. D’Angelo only need pass the exam to win the permanent job. Such an “internal ruling” would violate state civil service law.

At the recent city council meeting D’Angelo and city administrator Donna Owens reported that the city’s beleaguered trash and recycling program has generated fines and fees of $3,600. You read that correctly, after a year of enforcement, $2.3 million in totes, millions of dollars more for trash pickup, and a three city employee SWEET crew, $3,600 has been realized in fines and fees! If it weren’t so tragic in wasted taxpayer dollars it would be pretty funny: spending approximately $6 million to earn $3,600. That $3,600 doesn’t even begin to cover staff time and postage to file the paperwork that generated the whopping $3,600!

Last year the Reporter predicted, upon the rollout of the trash and recycling plan and the creation of SWEET, that the seasonal SWEET job Brook D’Angelo was given, would morph into a higher paying, fulltime city position with full benefits. Sadly, we were spot-on with our prognostication. Yet one question remains, what has Ms. D’Angelo done for Dyster to cause the mayor to jump through hoops in order to keep her employed and happy? Exactly where does her vast influence come from? Sources tell us that while the mayor has the highest regard for her, city hall insiders refer to her as, “Babbling Brook.”

As for the mayor’s three member SWEET team it’s now down to two as an employee recently resigned due to the daily unpleasantness of dealing with a frustrated public and the unending meddling of Donna Owens who whimsically determines who will, or won’t, be cited for violating her trash plan.

Fascinatingly the “ Minimum Qualifications” for the job, as listed on the job announcement, are “Graduation from a regionally accredited or NYS registered college or university with a Bachelor’s degree, two (2) years of experience in program/project management of which at least six (6) months involved the use of databases, spreadsheets and preparation of promotional material, and public contact work OR Graduation from high school or possession of a high school equivalency diploma and six (6) years of experience as described in (A) and public contact work.”

In the parlance of city hall this is called “hand crafting the job” for a preferred applicant.

What are the duties of a “Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Team (SWEET) Program Coordinator”? The duties, per the job announcement are, in part, “administrative and field support involving the oversight and coordination of the Solid Waste Education and enforcement Team Program…organizing, promoting and managing the City’s pilot Solid Waste, Refuse and Recycling program in compliance with applicable local ordinances…data base management, communication and acting as a program liaison in the community…responding to public inquiries…”

What are the subject areas of the exam? “Educating and interacting with the public, Preparing written materials, Solid waste resource recovery technology, including composting, materials recovery and recycling, and marketing of recyclables, planning managing, and coordinating solid waste recycling programs.”

If you have an interest in this position you have until Wednesday July 29, at 3:30pm to file your papers. Dyster’s Human Resources city hall office is located on the ground floor, Room 14, phone number 286-4432 or 286-4430. You’ll find the job announcement on the city website where it’s none too easy to locate. Look near the bottom right hand side of the city’s homepage (www.niagarafallsusa) listings under “See Employment Opportunities” and click on that. It takes you to the job title.


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