The help wanted advertisement the Dyster administration ran in the Buffalo News and on a popular job seeking website in an apparent attempt to find a new city engineer contained a link to the city’s own website, niagarafallsusa.org. Potential city engineers were directed to the website where, it was promised, there would be a “full job description.”
Admittedly, none of us here at the Niagara Falls Reporter are licensed engineers, but repeated attempts by several top staffers to locate this promised job description were doomed to failure.
It simply isn’t there.
We started off by going to the “See Employment Opportunities” icon in the left hand column of the cover page. Because, obviously, that’s where it would be, right?
Wrong. There are no current job openings listed. There are two promotional exams coming up, for a battalion fire chief and a principal account clerk, but those exams may only be taken by current city employees looking to work their way up.
Where to next? Looking over to the right hand side of the cover page we saw an icon that said “City Departments.” Clicking on that brings them all up and, since the advertisement had listed the Human Resources Dept. and its director, Ruby Pulliam, we thought we’d try there.
Beneath a very nice though somewhat smallish photograph of Ms. Pulliam standing in front of a flag in what looked to be the city Council Chambers was the HR Department’s mission statement.
“The goal of this department is to insure compliance with all mandated requirements, maintaining good employee relations through fair and equitable treatment of all employees, and encouraging an environment in which employees can maximize their potential, resulting in a higher level of service to the public,” it said. We were duly impressed.
But try as we might we couldn’t find any mention of the increasingly mysterious city engineer job description.
Back to “City Departments” we trudged. What could we be missing here? Of course! It almost jumped right off the screen at us. “Engineering Department.” How could we have been so stupid?
We clicked the icon and immediately discovered that there are 10 employees in the engineering department, 10 employees who more often than not during the eight years of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster’s reign have not had an immediate supervisor.
We also found out a little bit about what they do all day.
“The City of Niagara Falls Engineering Department is dedicated to providing professional, well-organized, and cost effective municipal engineering services to the citizens of Niagara Falls, as well as other Departments of the City,” the overview read. “Our efforts are focused on providing a high level of expertise for designing/planning, advising, administering, and overseeing all public works improvements and right of ways. Our goal is to provide these services within the project budget and timeframe required while protecting the public health, safety, and welfare of the Citizens of Niagara Falls.”
When we clicked on current projects – we found that it has not been undated since 2011.
What we couldn’t find – once again – was the elusive city engineer job description promised in the help wanted ads.
Finally, we just gave up, as will, perhaps, any number of potential city engineers.
It’s almost like it was designed that way.