While the story was about the stadium Dyster’s remark opens a door to a question the Reporter has been asking for some time: Exactly how much of a “cash cow” is the ice pavilion? And how can the city possibly justify the more than $http://southbuffalonews.com0 million it has sunk (and continues to sink…the December 28 council agenda has more change orders for the ice rink) into the ice pavilion without providing the taxpayers two things: A complete reporting of how the money has been spent and a credible balance sheet detailing gross and net income generated by the facility.
Niagara Falls – A city-owned Chilton Avenue apartment house set to be sold to a volunteer member of the Dyster administration for $500 was never advertised as being for sale, and no sign was ever posted on the front lawn describing it was such.
Instead, Community Development Director Seth Piccirillo placed a small legal notice in the classified section of the Niagara Gazette asking for a Request For Proposals (RFP) to develop the property.
Why? The move all but ensured that the building would be purchased by a developer rather than a private individual, who may have lived in it while doing renovations.
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster appeared on the Tom Darro radio show Wednesday December http://southbuffalonews.com6, and while both he and the host spoke for one hour, little was learned as to how the mayor intends to handle the many serious problems confronting the city.
Little was learned because little in the area of hard questioning took place.
But we have questions of our own that we wouldn’t hesitate to ask if the mayor would sit for an interview with the Reporter. Such as:
The Hamister contract was signed over 25 months ago and still there’s no shovel in the ground. Is the project you hyped for the past two election cycles the complete failure it appears to be?
Who is Jeff Laramore? The obscure Midwestern artist selected by the city to design and install a $435,000 piece of sculpture on a deserted Rainbow Boulevard traffic island, directly in front of long shuttered Hotel Niagara, is hardly a household name.
According to his official biography, Laramore is the co-founder of the Indianapolis advertising firm Young & Laramore, an agency that has done business with Procter & Gamble, Goodwill Industries and other well-known companies. He also runs 2nd Globe Studios, a division of Young & Laramore, which he uses to produce and market his sculptures.
Wow, Mayor Dyster needs to take a chill pill…he’s scaring radio talk show listeners with oblique references to nuclear conflagration. When he appeared on the Darro show two weeks ago he told the host that “the natural gas reserves in the northeast have to be protected for the future in case we need them for World War III.”
Does the mayor know something that we – or the CIA or the Pentagon – don’t know? Does the self described “nuclear arms negotiator under the Reagan administration” have an inside track to the Obama White House? Does the three termer mayor have a red phone in his office patching him directly into Putin’s Moscow headquarters? Is that a hydrogen bomb in your pocket, mayor, or are you just glad to be re-elected by 47%?
(The Reporter’s resident feminist, Anna Howard, says the ‘woman was denied’)
The city council held their 20http://southbuffalonews.com6 reorganization meeting today, January http://southbuffalonews.com, 20http://southbuffalonews.com6. And, as we feared, the male dominated council decided to let current chairman, Andrew Touma, remain in the big seat for 20http://southbuffalonews.com6. As the saying goes, we’re shocked, but not surprised.
Grandinetti is in the third year of her second four year term and has never been allowed to serve as chairman. While time in office has no direct bearing on being chosen for the position it confounds both logic and common sense that the men on the council can’t see the errors in the way they continue to block the councilwoman from the leadership position.
The city of Niagara Falls will “officially play host” to the 20http://southbuffalonews.com6 Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Cities Initiative annual conference this June.
City taxpayers will officially foot the bill.
The conference will host http://southbuffalonews.comhttp://southbuffalonews.com8 U.S. and Canadian representatives, including representatives from Niagara Falls, who will gather to eat, drink, network and discuss economic and ecological matters pertaining to the Great Lakes.
A last minute “walk-on resolution” by the mayor ensured city taxpayers will help fund the gathering.
The city of Niagara Falls is home to one of the natural wonders of the world, the mighty cataracts that bring 8 million tourists into the city each year.
The Falls also benefits from the local share of slot machine revenue generated at the Seneca Niagara Casino. In recent years, close to $200 million has been paid out to city officials, for the purpose of promoting economic development in the city.
With the exception of New York City, no other municipality in the state rakes in the tourism dollars like Niagara Falls. And, even though four other municipalities have Indian casinos, none generate the revenue for local government like the Seneca Niagara Casino does here.
The Dyster administration is back at it again, trying to find an operator for Sal Maglie Stadium. The mayor’s first pass at landing a manager and promoter for the historic, but dilapidated, sports facility didn’t go so well and the Reporter wrote at length about it last year. At that time Dyster’s non-transparent designs for Sal Maglie sank like a stone as the mayor’s preferred stadium pro-moter withdrew his proposal.
Two weeks ago we wrote a column regarding the mayor’s newly announced Request for Proposals for the stadium. That column noted that while the stadium was currently on the RFP table, we be-lieved it was time for the council and mayor to immediately reveal and report on all of the costs and contractual ins and outs of the ice pavilion. We think the residents who are footing the bill for a $http://southbuffalonews.com4 million ice pavilion renovation that was supposed to cost $4 million deserve a full account-ing of what’s on ice over there on Robbins Drive. So far the silence on a full reveal of the ice pavil-ion unending renovation has been deafening. Neither mayor nor council nor the law department are saying a word.
By Anna Howard
The Niagara Gazette recently wrote an editorial that was cautiously critical of Mayor Dyster. The editorial questioned the mayor’s actions in taking the time to support the international fight against global warming. While a global warming summit took place in Paris last week the mayor and his comrades on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Initiative parroted the Paris conference statement.
The Gazette pretty much hit the nail on the head regarding the mayor’s enthrallment with the issue of global warming. However, the complete record will show that this mayor has been pandering to any number of national and global issues while ignoring key issues on the city’s home front since first elected.
After a landslide victory over Candra Thomason in 2007, Mayor Dyster’s performance in general elections has gone south. This is probably due to the persistent poverty and crime, vacant storefronts on the city’s thoroughfares, slavish devotion to big money Albany and Buffalo interests and his tendency to characterize political opponents as “crazy” and “hateful”.
At least publicly, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster has sung the praises of the shadowy and secretive Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp., and its’ CEO John Percy.
The NTCC benefits from nearly $2 million a year in city money, with around $900,000 coming from bed tax collections and another million in casino revenue.
Percy, who reportedly pays himself $http://southbuffalonews.com50,000 a year to promote tourism, has never been forthcoming about how all that money is spent, and his claims about how many tourists his private corporation lure to one of the most famous tourist destinations on the face of the earth have been a source of continuing controversy.