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SEP 08 - SEP 15, 2015

Darro Turns his Radio Show Over to Dyster Six Days Before the Primary

By Anna Howard

SEP 15, 2015

Tom Darro


Local WJJL radio talk show host Tom Darro broke his oft stated rule of keeping all candidates and all political talk off of his airwaves one week prior to an election by hosting Mayor Paul Dyster on Friday September 4, in what appeared to be a “Paul Dyster for Mayor” advertorial…and this coming on the heels of Dyster’s recent August 19 appearance on Darro’s show.

Making it all the more obvious, if not outright humorous, is that the mayor’s appearance was interspersed with “Paul Dyster for Mayor” ads that sounded as if they were read by Brook D’Angelo, a city public works department employee who heads up Dyster’s SWEET initiative. The recorded ads were even “tagged” by Darro, with the radio host proclaiming the ad to have been paid for by ”Friends of Paul Dyster.” 

We have it from excellent sources that a respected broadcast personality attempted to locate their studio in the NACC a few years ago but was perfunctorily told that the building was strictly limited to “not for profits.” This was said in spite of the fact that, at the time and to this day, Tom Darro was using NACC space to broadcast from.

Add to this the fact that Dyster has had friends and relatives who sit on the NACC board of directors (not to mention the mayor gives taxpayer funds to the NACC annually) and you can see why Darro unbends for Dyster…the mayor could put him out on the street in a heartbeat leaving him without a socket for his microphone.  

When caller Joe Schiro, a well-informed resident, asked the mayor, “Why did it take an election year to fix the 72nd Street pipes?” the mayor blamed the Water Board for not replacing the pipes when the road was rebuilt. Schiro respectfully declined to swallow the bait saying, “This is an election play.”

That was it for Schiro, as Darro thanked him for his call and quickly dumped him before he could utter another word.

When frequent, and knowledgeable caller, Sonia from North Tonawanda asked the mayor, “What’s the status of the former engineer’s lawsuit?” Darro immediately and incredibly, said, “Let me intervene, that can’t be commented on!”

Sonia, not giving up, tried to get the mayor to answer another question while Darro guarded the door, as she said, “When will you have an engineer?” The mayor, in a rambling soliloquy said, (we kid you not) “Most qualified and established engineers have big houses like in Amherst, right? They can’t be expected to move here for $93,000.”

The mayor never explained why his best and brightest of City Administrator Donna Owens moved here from Atlanta for $110,000 or Economic Development chief Peter Kay moved here from Toledo, Ohio for $100,000 or attorney Craig Johnson moved here from Tonawanda for $95,000. Or why his most recent, and talented, engineer, Jeffrey Skurka moved here from the southern tier for $93,000, before Dyster fired him for being too conscientious regarding the costly Lewiston Road debacle.

Darro then ditched Sonia’s call while she was still talking and allowed Dyster to pontificate for 10 minutes blaming the council for the lack of an engineer, as he pledged “to put money in the budget for a city engineer after I’m reelected.” He never mentioned that he fired city engineer Bob Curtis literally as the ground was being broken on the courthouse…a groundbreaking that led to the $20 million building coming in at $46.5 million with Dyster hiring a private engineering firm that had donated to his campaign, LiRo Engineers, to “protect the city’s interests” as the project inexplicably climbed in cost.

So, Darro gave his de facto landlord Paul Dyster a chance to thump his political chest and take a breathless “victory lap” on his show the morning after the mayor publicly manipulated the council into funding the repair of 72nd Street water lines…water lines the mayor refused to do a single thing about for the past 30 months.

As if all of this weren’t enough, Darro then capped off his support for and enabling of Dyster by saying to his mayor, “Election Day is next Thursday and we wish you the best of success!”

The end of this story is that Darro gave candidate Dyster the final word on a Friday morning six days before Primary Day. If anyone – candidate or whomever – phones Darro on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday of the following week the radio host will REFUSE to allow them to say so much as a word about Dyster, the frozen pipes or anything political…because Darro says those are his rules…rules that only he gets to break.

But hey, if you had no other place to park your microphone, you probably wouldn’t mouth off to your landlord either.






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