City Administrator Owens On Way Out The Door?, Melson To Replace?

by Mike Hudson

Reliable City Hall sources told the Niagara Falls Reporter that controversial City Administrator Donna Owens will be leaving the job she’s held since 2008. Her replacement is expected to be Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster’s secretary, Nick Melson, one source said.

Owens was hired following what Dyster said was a nationwide search to find the best and the brightest candidates to serve as department heads in his new administration. Previously, she had worked in Atlanta GA, and Baltimore, MD, in jobs that centered on the disposal of solid waste.

Her $110,000 starting salary shocked many here, as it was more than what the Mayor of Buffalo or the Erie County Executive got. But Dyster said Owens would be worth every penny.

After awhile, the city Council didn’t agree, and in 2012, her salary was slashed to $70,000 over the mayor’s objections.

In 2014, Owens championed the city’s new garbage hauling contract with Modern Disposal. The new pact, designed primarily to increase the number of Niagara Falls residents who were recycling, was a fiasco from the start.

Soon to be former City Administrator Donna Owens was great at handing out proclamations, and did so by the wheelbarrow load during her years here.

Soon to be former City Administrator Donna Owens was great at handing out proclamations, and did so by the wheelbarrow load during her years here.

At an informational meeting in Council chambers that June,  Lewiston resident and Niagara Falls businessman Craig Avery asked Owens about the simplest details of the plan, what the benefit to the city would be and what it would cost. She couldn’t answer,

Avery then called for Owens to resign or be fired, and Owens turned on the audience. Again challenged by Avery and others, she burst into tears. 

Billed as a cost savings of $500,000 per year, the new garbage plan was so poorly conceived that it wound up costing the city more than $500,000 than the old plan, reduced the amount of garbage the city would pick up from residents – so much so that the city had to employ full time Clean Team workers to clean alleyways and vacant lots where residents now dispose of garbage the city used to pick up – and threw thousands of businesses off the list of addresses serviced by curbside service.

Less service – more money – which described not only Owens’ garbage plan but her entire tenure – as the first of the $100,000 Dyster city hall employees in what is one of the poorest cities in America.

During her time in Niagara Falls, Owens steadfastly declined to buy a house in the city, living instead in rented rooms at the Jefferson Apartments on Rainbow Boulevard owned by Shawn Weber, a Dyster campaign contributor and frequent recipient of city and state business loans and grants.

She rarely worked more than four days a week, and fled the city as often as possible for the home she kept in Atlanta.

Her possible replacement, Melson, is a seasoned political operative Dyster managed to lure away from Albany as his secretary just in time for last year’s election.

Melson was very active as a taxpayer funded campaign director for Dyster last year.

Melson first became involved in politics here when he was 18 with an unsuccessful run for city Council. He later met then state Rep. Francine Del Monte and went to work for her as a political aide. In 2009, he ran unsuccessfully against Vincent Sandonato for the LaSalle seat in the county Legislature.

City Hall insiders agree that Melson couldn’t possibly do a worse job than Owens, who became known as the “invisible administrator” due to her reticence about appearing or speaking in public.

Indeed Melson might do a very good job since he has a far superior grasp of the city and its operations, is bright, energetic and is already actually doing much of the work the city administrator should be doing by default anyway for the mayor.

While Owens had an extremely poor grasp of the duties of city administrator and even poorer communications skills, Melson is outgoing, responsive and intelligent with a fine grasp of the city and its needs.

While other names have been mentioned as possible replacements for Owens, Melson’s already invaluable services to the mayor and the city, sources say put him in the lead.

Last month Dyster tried to give Melson a $20,000 raise and create a sort of shadow deputy mayor position which was shot down by the council after an expose in the Niagara Falls Reporter.

If it comes off as our sources say, Owens’ going and Melson’s ascending to city administrator may be finally a move by Dyster that suggest after eight years his administration is ready to finally tackle and solve the issues facing this city. 

Tags:

20 Comments

  1. It’s actually a cool and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Flat Moving is Stressful for you be relax we team take your whole work, we are Specialize in Flat moving Office Removals London

  3. Do you people have a facebook fan page? I seemed for one on twitter but could not discover one, I would really like to change into a fan!

  4. Prince of Persia is the best, i really like the lead actor and also the princess, the princess is very pretty..

  5. I do trust all of the concepts you have presented in your post. They’re really convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are very brief for starters. May you please lengthen them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  6. Whats up this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  7. Greetings, I’m really happy I found out this website, I basically encountered you by accident, while I was searching on Google for vshare download ios. Anyways I’m here now and would simply love to say kudos for a remarkable blog post and the all-round fun blog (I also enjoy the theme/design), I don’t have enough time to go through it completely at the minute though I have book-marked it and even added your RSS feeds, so whenever I have time I will be returning to read much more. Make sure you do maintain the wonderful job.

  8. Howdy! I just came across this website and I certainly like it. I also want to speak about running earphones at times. Good to be around, regards!

  9. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later. Cheers

  10. Superb blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Many thanks!

  11. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find most of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write in relation to here. Awesome web site!

  12. You’re certainly right and I definitely trust you. Whenever you want, we can as well talk about best coffee machine at home, something that fascinates me. Your site is truly remarkable, all the best!

  13. Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too magnificent. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it wise. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is really a wonderful website.

  14. You are certainly right, I’d love to find out more info on this subject! I’m as well interested in best homework help websites since I feel it is really very cool lately. Keep it up!

  15. There are certainly great changes on the structure of this website, I truly enjoy this. My website is regarding lic of india policy status enquiry and presently there are a lot of things to be done, I’m still a beginner in website design. Take care!

  16. Cialis Duree online pharmacy Pharamcy Canada Amoxicillin Cocaine Viagra Doctissimo Site Recommande

  17. Buy Terbinafine Tablets Compro Viagra Precio Propecia Best Price buy levitra professional online Food Interactions With Amoxicillin

  18. On Line Real Fluoxetine 40mg Usa Finasteride 10mg Skin Health Priligy Dapoxetine Review viagra cheap accutane online

  19. Cialis Precio Farmacia Madrid Amoxicillin Dosage For Tooth Infections Propecia Op Recept generic cialis 5mg Of Propecia For Hair Loss Buy Synthroid Online Canada

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/NiagaraReporter/
 
Scroll Up.wpzoom (color:black;}