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Dyster Getting Long Nose Protecting Hamister Deal

After doing his best to halt the Wallenda walk, Dyster posted this picture with Nik on his Facebook.

One is reluctant to compare an elected official to the characters of fiction, even one as marvelous as Calro Colodi's Pinocchio, but a comment that Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster made last week, as reported in the Niagara Gazette, had me wondering if the Gazette reporter happened to notice that as Dyster spoke, his nose, long though it is, must have become at least two inches longer.

In defending the murky language and lack of council oversight in his Hamister proposal, Dyster said "should any aspects of the proposal as presented need to be changed for whatever reason in the future, those changes would be required to be authorized by the council itself."

Pinocchio is a wooden puppet who dreamed of becoming a real live boy.

Dyster is a real live man who dreams of being a puppet of Buffalo interests.

This Hamister "proposal as presented" gives the council zero say in any changes the mayor makes in the future deal.

Anyone can go online and read that for themselves. Just go online and read it.

The proposal reads that the Mayor can: "negotiate the proposed development agreement" and change "terms and conditions as the mayor (deems) appropriate."

And after he makes a deal it may "be amended from time to time."

And while there is no formal deal with Hamister, if the council approves Dyster's proposal as presented, they will have no say about any changes or what that final deal will be.

The proposal asks the council to waive the section of the City Charter that specifically requires them to approve all formal agreements:

"The adoption of these resolutions shall satisfy any condition or requirement contained in the City Charter or elsewhere for approval of the Proposed Development Agreement . ... and that no further approval by the City Council of the fully signed Development Agreement shall be required."

And this, the man says, means that "should any aspects of the proposal as presented need to be changed for whatever reason in the future, those changes would be required to be authorized by the council itself."

He said it, but it was a lie.

Most unfortunately, in the lives of puppets, there is always a 'but' that spoils everything.


Dyster Takes Credit for Success He Originally Tried to Kill

Take the budget. It is late 2012 and Dyster proposes his 2013 budget.

The budget was 30 days late because, as Dyster explained, he was looking “under every stone” for ways to save city jobs without raising taxes.

But he couldn't do it, saying, “The overall package is far better and a less painful product than what we started with in late summer and early fall.”

Dyster came up with an 8.3 percent tax increase for city residents and 20 layoffs in the city’s work force.

Dyster's rubber stamp backer on the City Council, Kristen Grandinetti, was pleased.

“To be honest with you, I’m pleased with the outcome of the budget,” she said of Dyster's tax hike that would cost the average homeowner more than $100 per year. “It’s been a long struggle to get this far."

The council majority of Sam Fruscione, Glenn Choolokian and Robert Anderson, however, were not pleased.

“We don’t accept what we see right now,” Fruscione said, “not at all.”

By Dec. 10, Fruscione, Anderson and Choolokian came up with their own cost-cutting budget, which cut 42 items and would take Dyster’s 8.3 percent tax increase down to zero and restore the 20 jobs.

Dyster opposed it.

He vetoed 42 of their cuts. If he prevailed, he would have kept the 8.3 percent tax hike in place. At the heart of the cuts were Dyster's Buffalo consultants and the $3.1 million the city was paying USA Niagara, which was by far the largest expWe, Mr. Mayor?enditure.

To override the veto of the mayor, the three-man council majority needed a fourth vote.

Grandinetti sided with the mayor, which left only Charles Walker, who normally sides with the mayor.

Possibly, because Walker did not want to face voters this year after approving an 8.3 percent tax hike, he sided with the three-man majority and they overrode 27 of Dyster’s 42 vetoes, including cutting $3.1 million to USA Niagara.

“We balanced the budget without raising taxes,” Fruscione said at the time and every homeowner in this city saved around $100.

One hundred dollars is not much, I can hear the pro-Dyster people saying.

I agree and just to allow you to prove it, I would like you to take a one hundred bill and flush it down the toilet.

But the point is not the budget; it is how Dyster spun it.

It was seven months later: the news of the casino settlement was just in.

Dyster held a press conference to talk about a casino-spending plan.

And taking praise for himself, Dyster recalled the tough budget last year.

"Our financial planning kept us out of harm's way," he said. “We avoided layoffs, tax increases and the need for increased borrowing.”

We, Mr. Mayor? He would have furloughed 20 people and raised taxes 8.3 percent.

He was overruled by the council. But that didn’t stop him from claiming he did it.

“While there are plenty of critics out there, facts are facts,” Dyster said.

And you can almost hear him saying under his breath, “What facts matter? We can have facts tomorrow. Whether we have a fact more or less, the people of Niagara Falls shall always remain the same donkeys.”

And a little later, in a more reflective mood, “Would it be possible to find a more ungrateful boy or one with less heart than I have!”


Saying one thing and doing another: a Dyster trademark

Take Wallenda for instance.

Dyster was dead set against Nik Wallenda crossing over Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

That everybody who followed the history of the event knows.

Dyster gave every conceivable reason except the real one: that his nemesis state Sen. George Maziarz made the Wallenda deal.

Dyster said the Wallenda walk will make the Falls look like a "sideshow"(New York Post, 7/5/2011); there will be bad "repercussions" (CKTB News 6/ 23/2011); that he was afraid of "copycats" (LA Times 6/23/2011); and that the event showed a lack of "respect" to the Falls.

Dyster was the sole voice of negativity among all officials, raising the specter of lawsuits, unfair treatment of other daredevils, too much cost, too many people, not enough time to prepare, the wrong date, the wrong time, Olmstead would be unhappy and even that Wallenda might fall to his death.

"If Mother Nature wins (against Wallenda)," he told the Buffalo News, "maybe, in a way, that heightens the mystery of the Falls." Catching himself, he added quickly, "I'm not saying I'm rooting against him."

After absenting himself from planning and press events and carping constantly on how bad this was - while an estimated one billion people heard about the Wallenda walk and consequently were reminded of the grandeur of Niagara Falls on the night of the event; as 16 million watched it on television; and 300 reporters from around the world descended on this city - it suddenly struck Dyster that the momentum of the whole world was against him.

So what did he do? Stuck to his guns, like any honest man would do?

Dyster hopped in front of any camera and spoke now with glowing pride of how he and Wallenda worked together to create this magical night.

And Dyster - the very next day- organized a press conference and presented Wallenda with the key to the city and said the city might erect a permanent memorial on Goat Island to memorialize Wallenda's feat.

"We did it," he said. "You and me, Nik."

To make his hypocrisy complete, on June 22, the mayor changed his Facebook profile photo. He took one of himself alone off his main page and posted a picture of himself standing alongside Nik Wallenda.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

AUG 06, 2013