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JUNE 2 - JUNE 10, 2015

New City Hires will Work Hard To Return Dyster to Office Here

By Mike Hudson

JUNE 2, 2015

Nick Melson. Dyster lured this top notch and seasoned campaign pro from Albany this election year. (Dyster ‘s secretary,)
Comely Bridgette Myles moved to council secretary to make room for strategest Melson.
Johnny Destino, top flight talent. He can do it all. (Dir. of Purchasing,)
If anyone can appreciate the advanced socialist concept of publicly subsidized elections, it is this genius level Young Turk, Seth Piccirillo. Dyster is subsidizing his campiagn team by creating day jobs, paid for by taxpayers, not unlike Seth subsidized people to live in NF. Seth is widely considered the power behind the throne and a likely future mayor.
Brook D’Angelo, with her dulcid voice, narrated a series of highly effective radio ads. (Head of SWEET Team).
Cerebral Ryan Undercoffer, part of the Dyster dream team. (Unknown postition with CD dept),

The city of Niagara Falls has not had an engineer in more than two years, and City Planner Tom DeSantis is currently our acting economic development director.

That’s right a planner is economic development director.

But a raft of new hires to relatively inconsequential positions will give Mayor Paul Dyster what he needs going into the 2015 election, a salaried staff of campaign veterans.

The only fly in the ointment is that city taxpayers will be bearing the expense, which will not end when the election is over.

Back in April, when Dyster persuaded the city Council to hire his personal secretary, Bridgette Myles, as the Council secretary, the Niagara Falls Reporter predicted she would be replaced in the mayor’s office by a seasoned political operative whose primary job would be to see Dyster reelected. That prediction has been borne out. Sources inform us that Dyster has hired Niagara Falls political strategist Nick Melson for his new secretary.

Melson first became involved in politics here when he was 18 with an unsuccessful run for city Council. He later met then state Rep. Francine Del Monte and went to work for her as a political aide. In 2009, he ran unsuccessfully against Vincent Sandonato for the LaSalle seat in the county Legislature. Melson’s typing skills were not a factor in the hire.

Another familiar face, that of Republican turned Democrat Johnny Destino, who turned up at City Hall this week when he became the city’s new purchasing agent at a salary of $62,000 a year. The job had remained unfilled since Dean Spring retired two and a half years ago, and the city got along just fine. But this year Dyster suddenly had an urge to fill the position.

Destino’s career in politics began when he upset retired police detective Frank Coney in a race for city School Board five years ago. He ran against Dyster for mayor in 2011 and only narrowly lost – despite spending about one tenth the money Dyster spent.

Destino then ran in the Republican party primary, challenging the county’s most powerful Republican, state senator George Maziarz in 2012 and lost, then switched parties, and became a Democrat to make an unsuccessful bid against Rob Ortt, who was backed by the Maziarz machine, for state senate again last year and lost.

Before and after his loss to Ortt, Destino worked closely with Niagara County Democratic Chairman Nicolas Forster becoming one of the premier campaign strategist in Niagara County, whose behind the scenes work (some say tactics) helped secure victories for candidates.

Destino wrote press releases, created ad copy for radio and TV, and, as an attorney, drafted documents, carried, witnessed and challenged petitions, went door to door, secured minor party lines and opportunities to ballot.

An expert at computers, one of the most knowledgeable lawyers in the county on election law, political science, municipal law, with an institutional knowledge of the community, its demographics and voting patterns, and someone who is not afraid to mix it up and go toe to toe with any adversary,
Destino’s entry on the team gives Dyster a true A –list powerhouse.

Ryan Undercoffer has not yet run for political office, but did serve as vice chair of the city's Democratic Committee in 2012 and vice chair for county Democrats in 2013. He was part of the cabal that masterminded the defeat of former city councilman Sam Fruscione and as such was rewarded with a job at Dyster’s City Hall.

He was the council secretary but was moved into a newly created position at the Department of Community Development where he works under Seth Piccirillo, one of the mayor’s staunchest supporters, and like Undercoffer an active campaign worker for Dyster.

Another member of the Fruscione hit squad was Brook D’Angelo, who now heads up Dyster’s Sanitation Waste Education Enforcement Team (SWEET). Prior to D’Angelo’s hiring, the position simply didn’t exist.

With Melson, Destino, Undercoffer and D’Angelo all hired to their current positions in the past few months, and Bridgette Myles ensconced in the Council offices to keep an eye on Dyster’s Democratic primary opponent and city Councilman Glenn Choolokian, the mayor has spared the taxpayer no expense in assembling a first rate political team.





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