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NOV 05 - NOV 12, 2015

Dyster's Niagara Falls "Victory" Owes Much to Spoiler Choolokian, So Thanks

Mike Hudson

NOV 05, 2015

Lackey Plaza 1977
Mayor E. Dent Lackey
Mayor Paul Dyster

Thanks a bundle Glenn.

Soon to be former city Councilman Glenn Choolokian, formerly the loudest critic of newly reelected Mayor Paul Dyster, inadvertently handed his nemesis the election this week, a textbook example in the never ending chronicle of why Niagara Falls is so completely messed up.

That’s right, the two time incumbent mayor was reelected by the residents of a nearly bankrupt city that is also the most heavily taxed in the state, has one of the highest crime rates in the country and also boasts the highest per capita population of registered sex offenders of any municipality in New York.

The man behind the crooked Hamister deal, the outrageous Holiday Market and the downright creepy Hard Rock Café concert series has been given a third term as mayor. This is a feat unequalled since Mayor E. Dent Lackey tore down the whole downtown during the 1970s in order to build a bunch of Stalinesque nowhereville of grandiose buildings and huge open plazas during the 1970s.

The people of Niagara Falls loved him too, though now his name is spat upon.

The anti Dyster vote of 53 percent was divided between Choolokian, who received 14 percent of the vote as a write-in candidate, and Republican John Accardo, who garnered 39 percent of the vote.

Choolokian never had a chance. No write in candidacy ever does. Whether it’s former mayor Vince Anello, former city councilman Sam Fruscione, or Choolokian – who Dyster squeaked past in this year’s Democratic primary election – write in candidacies are vanity projects.

Choolokian’s candidacy was allegedly based on the fact that he wasn’t Paul Dyster. Clearly, that was absolutely the only thing he had going on. His ideas were vague, his social skills were absent and his “vision” for the future of the city amounted to nothing more than, “Well. At least I ain’t as bad as him.”

Several sources told Artvoice this week that Choolokian had asked for a highly paid administration position in return for dropping his candidacy and throwing his support to Accardo in the general election but was told that such a deal could not be promised.

“We’ve accomplished a lot together, but I’m not satisfied with where we are yet in the City of Niagara Falls,” Dyster told a couple hundred supporters inside the Frederick Cadille American Legion Post in the City Market after declaring victory just 40 minutes after the polls closed.

All across the city, the thousands of voters who cast ballots against him, along with thousands more who didn’t even bother going to the polls out of disgust for the way the city has traditionally been governed, silently agreed. They aren’t satisfied with where the city is at either.

Choolokian, 48, works for the Niagara Falls Water Board. Choolokian served one year on the Council in 2005 and won a four-year term in 2011. Accardo, 60, served nine years on the City Council, ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1999 and 2011 and has also run without luck for Assembly. He runs an insurance agency on Pine Avenue. In addition to the Republican line, Accardo also ran the Conservative, Independence and Reform party lines.

In all, Dyster received 4,043 votes on the Democratic line, 87 on the Green Party line and 137 on the Working Families Party line. Choolokian got 1,275 write in votes and Accardo’s efforts landed him 2,721 Republican votes and another 748 minor party votes.

In other words, Accardo would have needed just 800 of those 1,275 anti Dyster, Choolokian voters in order to win.

Thanks Glenn. And congratulations. Your egotistical nature combined with your total lack of political savvy and rookie league career climbing ambition handed the election to a man you’ve called a scoundrel and worse. A man who led the city into having to grovel before the New York State Restructuring Board for Local Governments, and will agree to that agency’s union busting recommendations for your fellow city employees as though they were the Ten Commandments Moses climbed up Mt. Sinai to receive.

In a little more than a month, you will be off the city Council and continue on in the irrelevancy you so richly deserve.

And you, John Acccardo, who beat then Mayor Jimmy Galie in 1998 to hand the election over to Irene Elia, then upset former state assemblywoman Francine DelMonte just to allow John Ceretto to take the seat.

Maybe it’s karma. Maybe Accardo has unrailed so many political careers in his own past, only to go on and lose, that now the Universe has unleashed Choolokian to turn around and do the same to him this week.

So you’ve all reelected a mayor who has overseen the worst decline the city has seen in a century. Congratulations to you too. You have the cheapest looking ramshackle courthouse in the Northeast and Midwest, and your grandchildren will be paying for it. They’ll be paying too, for a train station that will be a museum piece by the time they grow up.

Somebody once said, during the time of Hitler and Mussolini, that we all get the governments we deserve.

With the great help of Glenn Choolokian, the residents of Niagara Falls have demonstrated this once again.

In a very sad way.

“I’ve won a third term as mayor of the city of Niagara Falls, but I’m still the change agent in this race,” Dyster said.

Dyster credited his win, in part, to the significant support of local labor unions and the support of African Americans, who make-up one quarter of the Falls’ population. He entered Tuesday’s election with announced support from several major Niagara County labor unions as well as city police and fire unions.

Good luck to them. And shame on them.

Oddly enough, it was perennial loser John Accardo who offered the most encouraging words following the election night debacle.

“I will never run for any race at all, anywhere, anytime,” he said. “I’m officially finished with politics.”

Please let it be true John, please let it be true.

And thanks again Glenn.






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Dyster's Niagara Falls "Victory" Owes Much to Spoiler Choolokian, So Thanks
Choolokian Candidacy Mattered Less Than Public Apathy in Dyster Win
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