‘Closed for Business’ at City Hall?

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By: Frank Parlato

The doors to the present Niagara Falls City Hall on Main Street were first opened in 1924. Prior to that, the mayor’s office was in the Gluck Building on Second and Falls Streets.
It was Mayor William Laughlin who first enjoyed welcoming residents into the building with its big, wide welcoming wooden doors and graceful staired approach.
Since then Frank A. Jenss,, Dr. W. Levell Draper, Ernest W. Mirrington, Jr., Eugene C. Butler, Stephen A. Lamb, William R. Lupton, Calvin L. Keller, E. Dent Lackey, Michael C. O’Laughlin, Jacob A. Palillo, James C. Galie, Vincenzo V. Anello and  – since Jan.1 2008, Paul Dyster – have occupied the mayor’s office at city hall.
Fourteen mayors. They have been good and bad and indifferent. But they all sat and governed at what is for a rather small city – a gracious and architecturally elegant building that bespeaks of solid governance.
And  up until now, none of them thought it was a good idea to close the front door of the building – until Paul Dyster came up with the idea.
We endorse his decision. If a City Hall is emblematic of the kind of governance the people are getting, nothing could better express the administration of this mayor than to close the front doors and herd people through the back.
Of course it is being done, Dyster says, for his personal safety and protection – since a policeman [also new to the Dyster administration] stands guard there to ensure people sign in [also new to the administration]. It is no longer the people’s house. It is Dyster’s place – Dyster and his cronies – like his hand picked successor Seth Piccirillo.
We commend Paul Dyster for his rare transparency in closing off the front doors to the people’s house.
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