PARLATO: The End of the Dyster Era Has Come at Last

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By: Frank Parlato


Robert Restaino has won the democratic primary. And with his win, Mayor Paul Dyster’s handpicked successor, Seth Piccirillo goes home.

The general election will see a contest between Restaino and Glenn Choolokian, the Republican.

After 12 ugly years of depression and decline, with rising crime, rising taxes, cronyism, and extraordinary waste, the Dyster era is over.

Now, for the first time in more than a decade, we can expect to see a city hall that favors Niagara Falls and its people over Albany, Buffalo and New York City.

We will now elect a mayor – in November  – whether Restaino or Choolokian – who will put the city’s best interests ahead of those who have held us down.

They are both men of that type – too much a part of this community – without pretensions of being better than us. They are among us. Now Niagara Falls comes first for a while.

While Dyster was a beggar and a sycophant to the governor and to the Buffalo elite whose shoes he hoped to shine, he always looked down on the people here who paid his salary as a little unsavory, a little too dumb. Too unwashed, too lowly, to warrant serious consideration. He was embarrassed of us. And it showed.

He was a disaster as mayor – blowing through more than $200 million in casino cash and then forgetting to insure that the casino compact was renewed with payments to the city. He cut off his own allowance. 

Yet he always did what the governor or his Buffalo masters told him to do.

By massive, wasteful spending, he plunged the city into a $12 million annual deficit. [Vince Anello, the last mayor, had a $6.7 million surplus.] But Dyster handed out giant gobs of taxpayer money to any and all who would likely find votes for him.

And Seth Piccirillo – seemingly cut from the same spendaholic cloth – would have been as bad or worse.


Mayoral candidate Seth Piccirillo lost to Robert M. Restaino on primary day by a margin of 79 votes.


Add all of Dyster’s faults to Seth’s immaturity, his poor temperament, his bad judgment, his willingness to play dirty tricks  – all this added to incompetence and a habit of coming up with hare brained schemes – like paying people to live here and painting fire hydrants as leprechauns – it would have been a recipe for further disaster.

Restaino, on the other hand, is a real citizen of this city. Not a boy. But a man experienced in the world.

He can bring us back to where we were when the very competent Vince Anello was mayor. He can take us forward, erasing the terrible Dyster years when our population went down, but our cost of government went soaring up.

The laugh is on Dyster. He sold us out time and again, always expecting Gov. Cuomo to give him some big taxpayer funded job when he retired.  And poor Seth – his $100,000 plus job at city hall is going to end. Dyster created the $100,000 jobs at city hall in one of the poorest cities in the USA.

In the end, perhaps it was a generational thing.  Seth had said that senior citizens caused the disaster in this city and he was voted out by those same senior citizens who saw that it was Dyster [and Seth] who created the latest and biggest disaster – of financial ruin. 

It was those same seniors who Seth blamed for the woes of Niagara Falls, who went to the polls and ousted him. 

Albany’s Dyster and his minion, Seth, are now set to leave the stage.

The city returns to the people.

This is a good day for Niagara Falls.


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