Ebullient, Truculent and Petulant isn’t a law firm. It’s the range of emotions that Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster displayed on the Tom Darro radio show Wednesday morning last week.
Heard on WJJL, the mayor’s moods shifted, in seemingly random turns, from happy to hostile to irritable as he took a total of three phone calls during his sixty-minute appearance.
Darro, a generally acquiescent sort when the mayor appears, demonstrated uncharacteristic feistiness as he debated the mayor over frozen water pipes on 72nd Street and the poorly administered city trash and recycling program.
Darro’s impatience with the mayor’s windiness and the mayor’s jumpy, angry demeanor could be signs that Dyster’s voyage to a third term has fallen victim to the political doldrums.
As for the frozen water pipes, Dyster launched into a seemingly endless speech that went in a circle and, as circles do, ended up back at the beginning with the mayor pledging to solve the now two-year old icy problem.
In wrapping up the frozen pipes the mayor stated rather curiously, “We’re gonna figure out 72nd Street; we’re gonna get a construction process going and fix it, but what does fix mean? It’s a scary challenge.”
The mayor took umbrage with Darro when the show’s host said the trash totes were being used “as lawn ornaments.”
The mayor exploded. “If we have people who are PIGS, they’ll have to learn to be civilized like other people!”, the mayor said of some of his constituency.
The mayor didn’t let his trash rant end there, but he added rather inexplicably, “We have drug users and bank robbers who probably aren’t doing a good job at sorting their recyclables.”
When a caller criticized the city for its handling of the trash program the mayor cut loose on the caller in what can only be described as a tirade, shouting, “Do you just call radio shows and complain?!”
Over the course of the show the mayor said the Isaiah 61 Highland Avenue fire hall was moving along, the asbestos was removed, and a bid for roof work was in progress. He expects the Isaiah 61 program to be housed inside the taxpayer funded renovation of the old fire hall integral to the city’s new emphasis on less demolition and more housing rehabilitation.
He didn’t say where Isaiah 61’s $500,000 in casino funds went or why the lone home they rehabbed in three years remains unsold.
He explained how he intends to purchase the former Union Carbide land behind the Isaiah 61 fire hall so that he and Tom DeSantis can prepare it as a location for a solar energy factory. He said, “We’re assembling parcels to be ready for a River Bend spin-off in case we get the call.”
A caller asked Dyster how much the trash totes cost and the mayor, incredibly, said he didn’t have the answer and would have to research the question. But the mayor told the caller, “We used casino money for the totes, no taxpayer money was used.”
While he heaped blame on the council for delaying the implementation of the trash ordinance he said that with his two trash inspectors now on board he expects the enforcement and fine portion of the ordinance to come alive as soon as the two people are trained.
The mayor said he wasn’t sure if the city taking back control of water and sewer services was a good idea, and he expressed disappointment with the water board suing the city in order to get out from under an annual $700,000 payment to the city.
Mr. Dyster’s reply to the question as to whether he intended to go through with his announced plans to build his own animal shelter was much like his answer to the frozen water pipe question with his response sounding like a “definite yes, no, maybe, I’ll think about it and get back to you.”
On Friday, two days after the mayor’s appearance, a caller to the Darro radio show respectfully labeled the mayor as “a bully” due to His Honor having shouted down a caller.
Psychology 101 informs us that a bully is typically driven by insecurity and, as such, lashes out in anger and fear.
The Reporter doesn’t know psychology but we do know a thing or two about politics. We feel confident in diagnosing the mayor’s appearance on Darro as damaging.