Niagara Falls Reporter
Home | Archive / Search
MAY 05 - MAY 12, 2015

Dyster on Anello Show, Another Curious Radio Performance

By Anna Howard

May 05, 2015

Vince Anello tried to hold a not very compliant Mayor Dyster by the gills.
Mayor Paul Dyster holds what looks like a compliant Niagara Falls taxpayer by the gills.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster's appearance on Vince Anello's WJJL radio show on April 30, in comparison to the mayor's appearance on the Tom Darro show on April22, proves the truth of the adage, "What a difference a day makes."

In this case it was eight days that separated the mayor's disjointed and bellicose yet strangely upbeat Darro performance from his relatively tight-lipped and controlled appearance on Anello.

This being Niagara Falls, the home of the dysfunctional trash and recycling program, where residents are only permitted to dispose of what they stuff inside a 64gallon trash bin - the smallest allowable, therefore the strictest trash program, of any city known anywhere in America, Anello opened the line of inquiry by asking the mayor if he knew the total cost of the trash program.

The mayor never provided a dollar amount but he did say that the council made things difficult for his administration by delaying passage of the trash ordinance by six months and by adding costs for servicing businesses to the contract.

"It was a program designed for residential not businesses," he said.

Mr. Dyster continued his strange comments that began on Darro's show eight days earlier in which he blamed the difficulties of enforcing the trash and recycling program on city "criminals" whom he called "Pigs."

"We have some people in the neighborhoods that are engaged in criminal activity," Dyster said on the Anello show. "…if it's a crack house they're not separating the trash…I was joking about this on Tom's (Darro) show."

The mayor reported that two city trash inspectors (90 day temporary seasonal employees) have been hired. He said, "I think they're going to start next week" and added that once their training is complete the trash program enforcement will begin. The enforcement will have a system of "escalating fines" for violators.

The mayor never explained why the enforcement of the multi-million dollar trash and recycling program is falling on the shoulders of two temporary seasonal employees.

Did Mayor Dyster know, Anello asked, how much the new train station would ultimately cost?

Well, no, the mayor said, he had no exact figure but he said that it may cost around $43,000,000 as far as he could tell and that "$4,000,000 of this is ours." His Honor noted that, "change orders could come" in addition to the $43,000,000. The Dyster administration never met a change order it didn't approve (court house, ice pavilion etc.) so let the mayor's remarks be fair warning to the taxpayer.

Anello pushed ahead asking, "What will the station cost to operate after the ribbon is cut?"

The mayor, rather incredibly, replied, "It's a moving target. We don't know."

The radio host respectfully, but forcefully, asked what Amtrak's involvement in the project would be, but Dyster was noncommittal and vague saying, "It's complicated."

Consider this: The train station opens its doors next year and as of today the final costs, operating/maintenance costs, Amtrak involvement and facility tenants are all unknown.

The mayor did say – cutting the legs off his previous remarks that he hadn't kept up with project expenses - that recent adjustments to the train station budget now allow for the station to have the originally planned metal roof and terrazzo flooring.

To Anello's credit he wryly noted that the mayor's beer brewing business was located in Tonawanda, not Niagara Falls. Without missing a beat Dyster replied, "It'ssound business practices. It serves a regional market."

Translation: Niagara Falls is bad for business.

Why isn't there a casino spending plan? Why, of course there's a casino-spending plan, said the mayor, "We do a five year running casino plan. It's an executive plan."The mayor's answer does nothing to explain the last-minute casino cash resolutions that he breathlessly presents to the council time and again. But, as we have said before the appearance of no plan is the mayor's "plan."

Twice during the show Anello reminded the mayor that his FOILS were being ignored by city hall. To this, Dyster, the 2007 candidate who pledged transparency, never said a word.

Along the way the mayor thanked Tom DeSantis for accepting the position of acting director of economic development, said the council could end the controversial health insurance opt-out clause at their next meeting if they wanted to, and with regards to accusations that the Dyster administration is turning the city over to poverty industry entrepreneurs he remarked, "We're not trying to import problems from other areas…the city doesn't operate these programs…if you have people without cars they have to be near these services."

As the show wrapped up Anello told the mayor he wanted an answer off the air as to what becomes of city funds that are committed to projects but remain unspent. Mr. Dyster said nothing.

Those familiar with the 2013 NYS Comptroller's audit know that the handling of such funds is of great concern.

What was Anello talking about?

During Mayor Paul Dyster's appearance on the Vince Anello WJJL radio show, Anello inquired as to how the balance of unspent city funds from specific projects are accounted for.

He used this example: If a project is estimated to cost $3,000,000 but ultimately costs $2,500,000 what happens to the unspent $500,000?

Well, we know from the NYS Comptroller's audit of Niagara Falls as released in May 2013 that many of those funds in the past were not being returned to the general fund as required.

Page 12 of the audit reads, in part: "Beyond the amount reported as unassigned fund balance in the capital projects fund, additional funds may remain in other projects which should also be returned to the general fund. As of the end of our fieldwork, City officials were unable to demonstrate, and we were unable to definitively establish, the total amount of these other moneys. However, based on our review of the records, we conservatively estimate that the amount could range from $1 million to $1.4 million."

The 26 page state audit is available on line by searching, City of Niagara Falls Financial Management and Information Technology Report of Examination Period Covered January 1, 2009-January 9, 2013.

In addition to the above audit there was also a seven-page confidential report detailing the deficiencies with the city's financial computer system. That report is unavailable to the public.

So what happened to the $1 million?





Isaiah 61 House Collapses After Walls are Removed
Zona to Run for Mayor?
Uniland, Delaware North at Odds; Dispute Could Threaten Wonder Falls Project
Jury Finds Dowd, Toohey, Mitchell Harmless in Hickory Stick Land Case
Niagara Falls Voted No. 1 in Flawed Contest
City's Proximity to Canada Finally Does Us Some Good in New Poll!
Elderly Taxpayer Targeted By Dyster's 'Beautification Police'
Trash and Stupidity Abound with New Trash Plan
Grandinetti Calls School District Sex-ed Policy 'Borderline Criminal'
What is Grandinetti Talking About and Why?
Dyster on Anello Show, Another Curious Radio Performance
Bogus 'Task Force' Bolsters Dyster Resume', Accomplishes Little Else
Grandinetti on Facebook During Working Hours?
Judge Faso to Run for Reelection
Only in NT: Untapped Power of Unregistered Voters Need to be Tapped
Second Pro Baseball Team to Play Part of Season at Sal Maglie Here
Sal Maglie Stadium a Field of Dreams For 75 years, Saw a Lot of Great Baseball
A Niagara Falls Original, Maglie One of a Kind Wherever He Went
The Niagara Falls High School Athletic Complex Officially Opens May 6. District says it is the largest high school athletic complex in the State.
Politicians Vague on ECC Crisis as Another Tuition Hike Nears
City Hall Jokes

Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina