In the spring of last year Mayor Paul Dyster sprung a trash and recycling program on city residents. The program included the purchase of $2.2 million in trash totes, a new garbage hauling contract with Modern Disposal and a trash ordinance that featured a fine/fee structure for trash offenders in combination with the smallest allowable refuse disposal for residents in all of Western New York.
Dyster said the new plan would save taxpayers $500,000.
The Reporter said then that Dyster would eat his words about savings and true enough, the 2015 budget shows not a $500,000 savings but more than a $500,000 increase in trash costs. That's not counting new employees at the DPW to enforce the new, strict new plan.
Included in the mayor's new trash and recycling program was what the mayor dubbed the SWEET initiative. Sweet stands for Sanitation Waste Education Enforcement Team.
While the Dyster administration said the three SWEET employees were going to be seasonal city employees scheduled to work at part time wages for a six month maximum, the Reporter went on record predicting that the top SWEET job, if not all three jobs, would become full time positions carved out by Dyster as part of his friends and family program.
Shortly after writing those words Dyster gave the top SWEET job to Brook D'Angelo, a city Democratic Committee operative and Dyster supporter. Brook was a staunch Dyster ally who did the voice work on nasty anti Sam Fruscione radio ads in the 2013 council race, the race that saw the Hamister hotel "deal" drive Fruscione from office.
While Brook's two SWEET co- workers were laid off in September, Brook never stopped working. At last week's council meeting she was made full time with full employee benefits. Her pay and benefits covered out of casino revenue.
At the council meeting, the mayor and council majority earmarked $84,000 of casino cash to support the SWEET program for 2015 with $43,000 of that total to provide Ms. D'Angelo's salary and benefits.
The Reporter said that Dyster would give the top SWEET job to a friend and we said the SWEET initiative would never go away as Dyster promised it would after it had run its scheduled six month course.
Now we predict that Dyster's Democratic operative and political advertisement voice talent, D'Angelo, is going to move up the city employment ladder as quickly as possible with Dyster's assistance.
She will also work for his reelection this year.
The Reporter is not suggesting that D'Angelo is not a good candidate for any job she cares to assume, but we wish to remind readers that the job she now holds was handed to her outright and was never advertised as being available for application to the general public.
And that's what hiring friends and family is all about.