On Sunday April 27, Niagara Falls Reporter Senior Editor Tony Farina texted a message to the cell phone of Mayor Paul A. Dyster.
Farina's text read: "Paul; In this reelection season, the publisher of the Niagara Falls Reporter wants to extend to you an invitation to respond to stories or otherwise comment on city issues. I am texting this message at his request and in the interest of fairness.
"Your call -- and if you want to respond or comment to issues that effect Niagara Falls, I will do my best to insure you are given voice."
By Monday afternoon Dyster did not respond.
Farina sent another text to Dyster: "I will pass along your 'answer.'"
In the past we have called Mayor Dyster, sent him emails and texted his cell, almost always to no avail. He doesn't like us and won't respond to requests for comments.
Nevertheless our offer is open.
Anytime Dyster wants to comment, by phone, in personal, by email to any story he can do so.
He can also write op-eds - or guest views and take issue with, or advance, or disagree with any issue that we have raised that concerns our readers.
If he wishes to subject himself and his administration to a transparent and complete examination and explanation of what he is doing with the people's money, we further stand ready to publish his unedited, unexpurgated views -- his entire presentation of facts - skewed or straight - as his opinions on our website unedited.
An abridged version would appear in print pointing to the website.
We would expect in return that the mayor would answer our questions or give a valid reason why he believes the public does not have the right to know.
We are not confident, however, that Mayor Dyster - your representative - will choose to take up our offer - during reelection season.
We have been critical of his policies in the past and continue to be critical.
We do not believe the mayor is transparent; we do not believe he has his spending priorities straight; we do believe he is extravagant and wasteful with casino cash which, if spent wisely, could solve many of the problems of this city.
We do believe that the mayor is deeply influenced by the desires of Albany officials and Buffalo businessmen to the detriment of the people of Niagara Falls.
Buffalo developers and consultants and Albany officials are pleased with Mayor Paul Dyster.
Many of these have expressed their desire to see Paul Dyster reelected as mayor - their expression coming in the form of "putting money where the mouth is" - issuing handsome checks made out to the Friends of Paul Dyster, his reelection campaign fund.
What are friends for, after all.
Dyster's nonresident donations are so numerous that it made us wonder why so many people in Buffalo care about who the next Niagara Falls mayor is.
This reciprocal love of nonresidents and the mayor has resulted in a failure of leadership, poor governance and an increase in the suffering of the people he is elected to serve.
Niagara Falls is a dirt poor city that shouldn't be poor.
Of course this is only our opinion.
Dyster may think differently.
Ultimately the people that bother to vote will make the final decision on Dyster the mayor.
That is why we offer Dyster an opportunity to speak as long and loud and as hard and as often as he likes.
Not to serve his reelection interests - but to inform the people.
Let the present record show that the Reporter offers Paul Dyster the opportunity to respond to a galaxy of issues facing Niagara Falls.
Let the future record show if he take us up on our offer and whether the people who can vote for him wish to retain him for four more years or dispense with his services effective midnight December 31, 2015.