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By: Staff Reporter
Former Rich Products Corp. labor relations executive Sil Dan Jr. will seek the Republican line to represent the people of North Tonawanda’s 9th Legislative District in county government, saying that “our city’s residents are no longer being represented by the people they elected to work for them.”
Dan, a semi-retired business consultant who also volunteers and works part-time at First United Methodist Church, where he is a communicant, said that he was distraught to see government “become a revolving door of connected names, appointed and reappointed without any accountability for results.” Dan pointed to a series of controversial hires by county government as evidence current Legislative leaders are “out of touch and out of their minds.”
Dan noted that the city had been forced to borrow $4.2 million last month after mismanagement of city finances by City Treasurer Matt Parish, who abruptly resigned his post after a scathing audit by New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Parish then was hired into the number two post in the county clerk’s office despite the state audit.
“The state comptroller said that for eight months straight, our city treasurer didn’t bother to check the balances of our city’s accounts, how much money was coming in and going out,” Dan said. “The audit hits, he resigns, and the county government hires him the next week for $20,000 more than he was making here.”
Dan said he would push for a closer working relationship between county and city government, but would also demand county government revamp its hiring practices.
“I’ll be calling for an investigation into the county’s strange hiring practices: in the last year and a half, they’ve hired a Buffalo Billions felon, a sexual harasserwho left state taxpayers on the hook for a six-figure payout to his victim, a former Senate aide who was caught on video shouting racial epithets at children, and a lawyer who was already convicted in a rape case and has now been accused of a raping at least three more people,” Dan announced. “Not to mention giving a 40 percent raise to someone who lost 4 million taxpayer dollars.”
Dan noted that his opponent, who currently leads the Legislature’s Republican majority caucus and sits on several key committees, was in a position to stop the county’s hires.
“That Republican caucus meets before and during Legislature meetings. They have a room right outside the legislative chambers that they all file into and discuss the county’s business behind closed doors. They knew exactly who they were hiring,” Dan said. “It’s time we restore some standards to our hiring, before they decide to put serial killers and bank robbers on the payroll too.”
Dan, who grew up in North Tonawanda, said while visiting the city’s downtown earlier this week that he will work to help North Tonawanda businesses recover from government-imposed COVID shutdowns.
“Clearly, county government is going to need to work closely with our businesses, and some of the people in City Hall, to make sure all of our businesses get the resources they need to return to normal operation, not just the connected few,” Dan said. “Helping our businesses and taking care of our seniors will be my top priorities, in addition to fixing the county’s very broken, very shameful hiring practices.”
Dan, who was the Rich Products Corp. manager of workers compensation for a decade and a half, operates Superior Comp Management, a consultancy that address workers compensation issues.
“In those roles, I played a critical part in businesses’ success, and a lot of what I did was made sure that the right decisions were made up-front,” Dan said. “Right now, our county government is constantly having to address bad decisions after they’ve already damaged the interests of the taxpayers. That’s got to stop.”
Dan said his platform would be abbreviated “ACT.” “Accountability. Credibility. Transparency. Without those three things, government isn’t serving the taxpayers, it’s not serving the people that voted it in. It’s not serving anyone but its own interests, and that’s go to change.”
In addition to his corporate roles at Rich Products, Dan worked both as a dockman and a Teamster for Consolidated Freightways, and was a union business representative for SEIU. He also holds a paralegal certificate from the University at Buffalo.
“I’ve worked both sides, labor and management, and I’m a proud union member who also sat on the opposite side of the table,” Dan said. “I think I have a strong case to make for helping to fix our county’s broken hiring system.”
Dan has also been active in youth athletics. The former Cardinal O’Hara, Nichols School, and Park School boys basketball coach, he is an active member of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO) Board 15 and has more than a decade and a half as a high school basketball referee. He also has been both an official and a coach for the Buffalo Police Athletic League for the past 25 years and is involved in Amherst Youth Basketball.
He and his wife, Chi Chi, raised four children in North Tonawanda.
Dan is a registered Republican and will contest the Republican line in the June primary.