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He was against it before he was for it.

On issue after issue, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster has seen fit to reverse himself on matters of public importance, rushing in at the last minute to grab the limelight and act as though he were a champion of things he'd opposed just weeks or even days earlier.

Same-sex marriage was a thorny issue for many people here, especially within the large Catholic community. Dyster opposed it, and even went so far as to appoint city Councilwoman Kristin Grandinetti to perform the ceremonies once Gov. Andrew Cuomo made same-sex unions the law of the land here.

But then something happened. The chorus of displeasure on the mayor's Facebook page grew in volume as July 25 -- the day the new law went into effect -- approached. Dyster saw that his opposition might cost him more votes than it gained him.

Suddenly, he was talking about John F. Kennedy's famous speech about his own Catholicism, and just days before 50 couples were to be married with the falls serving as a backdrop and the national media descending on the city like locusts, he changed his mind.

Grandinetti would not be performing the ceremonies after all -- the mayor was taking charge.

Last week, Dyster made a similar turnaround when it was announced that the boundaries of the USA Niagara Development Corp.'s development district would be expanded to include much of Main Street, an idea he vehemently opposed when state Rep. John Ceretto and state Sen. Mark Grisanti brought it up earlier this summer.

"This expansion, which serves as a positive reflection on the progress USAN is making, will offer additional investors the development expertise and resources of USAN's staff," Dyster said. "It is my hope that this expansion will also lead to additional funding for USAN that can, in turn, spur downtown development."

Funny stuff coming from a guy who at first told Grisanti and Ceretto that such an expansion would be illegal.

But that's the way it is with Dyster. He's against it and then he's for it, and he hopes that you, the voters, won't notice.

He flips, but come the Sept. 13 primary, he may flop.
Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com Sept. 6, 2011