Mayor Dyster DOES have a casino revenue spending plan: spend until the money is gone!

Last week the city reported that their share of casino revenue had dropped once again. While the city’s handle of the annual slot drop peaked around $22 million in recent years the new annual casino revenue reality is now about $5 million less…and dropping still.

The city’s announcement of the tumbling numbers drew near audible gasps as reported in a Niagara Gazette article that featured quotes from the council chair, the city controller and a member of the council’s Finance Review Panel.

The Reporter is questioning the sincerity of those gasps. That’s because the Dyster administration has, for the last eight years, been blowing through the taxpayers’ casino cash like a Washington politician on an overseas junket. To pretend that this spending suddenly comes as a surprise is to insult the intelligence of the residents.

The Reporter contends that the Dyster administration likes the wasteful expenditure of casino revenue just fine the way it is. In fact it was the anticipated casino revenue windfall that brought candidate Paul Dyster’s deep pocketed Buffalo supporters to the table in the spring of 2007 as Dyster planned his run for mayor. It was the scent of the millions in casino cash that drew the cast of Buffalo characters to the pre-election table. We contend that the casino money was the honey that attracted the Buffalo bees.

And so when we read that city employees, elected officials, and finance panel members are now proclaiming that “Oh goodness, the casino cash is running out and we don’t have a spending plan in place! How did that happen?” we want to gag. Such is the breathtaking level of hypocrisy.

The Dyster casino cash plan was to not have a plan to begin with. The only “plan” was to spend the money as fast as it came in because there were construction companies, lawyers, consultants and politically connected hangers on waiting in the wings with their hands out, hoping to access the taxpayers’ millions in casino revenue. The sudden false claim that there’s now a sincere realization that there’s no casino spending plan in place achieves record heights in dishonesty.

The Reporter has written time and again about the immediate need for two things: a casino revenue spending policy and a casino revenue spending plan. The policy and the plan are different, one from the other, just as a hand is different from a glove. And, just as a hand must fit a glove, the spending plan must fit the spending policy.



  1. Have you’ve been to the casino lately? Maybe a trip there will show you that attendance is down.Which means the cash is going to be going down. I forgot,This paper blames Niagara Falls city hall for everything.The casino’s revenues itself are down,Must be Dyster’s fault.It’s snowing,Must be Dyster’s fault.Anna Howard must be hudson’s new pen name.Then again,We’re all supposed to be supporting Kristen Grandinetti now after being told by this paper that she must be no good because she’s the mayor’s neighbor.

  2. The mayor and council were well aware that casino attendance projections would be down and were warned by citizens at council meetings. The Niagara Falls Reporter and other news outlets also reported on this and the city administration ignored the warnings. A moratorium on all non emergency spending should be initiated ASAP. Projects/Plans in some instances may need to be delayed or postponed until the city has it’s fiscal house in order. The mayor and council should not be an ostrich with his head in the sand when all economic indicators are obvious to the common man that money is tight. Maria Brown appears to be one of the few sane voices of reason, perhaps what she says should be more paid attention to. The city should concentrate on providing the basics as a strong foundation will beget growth rather than succumbing to being the emperor with no clothes.

  3. So all of a sudden,The 3 stooges are no longer in power,And city hall needs to start being fiscally responsible? Where was Choolokian,Frusione,and the late Anderson when the money was being tossed about? They were worried about “Getting their free lunch” during the council meetings.Yet sidewalks all over the city are in terrible condition and crime is out of hand. Hell,Sam Frusione held up the Hammister deal singlehandedly until he was voted out when people figured out that he wanted that property to go to his pals in the One Niagara crew. And don’t think he wouldn’t have benefited from it,His gift shop is still close by there. Amazing how he gets voted out and the Robert Anderson vote swings to a yay instead of nae. And Maria Brown? Wasn’t she another of the city hall employees that this paper doesn’t want people to take seriously and made fun of?

  4. to.LJJR21 the 3 councilman you speak of voted against many of the Dyster give aways programs and were against wastefull spending as Sam Frusciones gift shop .If you have ever been in that area you would know that he closed shop 2 years ago and opened the old ice bridge ice cream shop on lewiston road Yet here we sit the great Hamister project still being an empty lot .As for sidewalks ,roads repair Choolokian has always been a strong advocate for those things being done first.

  5. And the work on the sidewalks was started when? Talk a walk between Pine ave and Niagara St on 22nd.You’ll end up out in the street the walks are that bad.
    I’ll bet big money that if the owner of this paper would have tried to get that lot,the 3 stooges would have passed it and gloated about how he’d do great things with it.But then would fall silent like they did when Parlarto decided to hold back on paying property taxes on it. Just like he did with one niagara.Choolokian was always more worried about the golf course than he was anything else.

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