The Hamister “Hoax” and Our City Issues Need to be Addressed

Guest View by
Jamie Caldwell
Niagara Falls, NY


The city of Niagara Falls has serious issues that need to be addressed.  For each matter this administration overlooks, it’s like, “kicking a can down the road”.  However, our city has kicked so many cans down the road, we have ended up with a pile of garbage that even “Totes Mcgoats” can’t recycle.

Our Mayor, Paul Dyster (whom I also call, “Our Leader”), has made decisions that were terrible for our city.  Some of these decisions made, by “Our Leader” should have generated revenue and promoted economic growth in our city.  Yet, our city continues to have a budget crisis, overspending, a dwindling tax base (people leaving), bad roads, and programs that end up costing our city more money instead of saving it.  Anyone can see why our city is “broke”.

At the City Council meeting on 3/07/20http://southbuffalonews.com6, I was relieved to hear that “Our Leader” will have a casino money spending plan ready in April for the council to review.  Why haven’t we had a casino budget plan sooner?  It’s no wonder why our city doesn’t have really anything to show for the millions of casino revenue received.  Our casino funds should be used to promote development and growth, not to fix deficits in our city budget.

Our city still doesn’t have an engineer.  The total time our city has been without one has been longer than four years, longer than a City Council or Mayor term.  It’s amazing that our small city can’t keep an engineer, even though the job offers $95,000 a year. This is more than many of the surrounding cities or towns, including Buffalo.  I believe part of the reason is due to Niagara Falls’ and “Our Leader’s” poor history with engineers.  Our city has had used engineering firms for construction, which lead to us paying more than what we should be for projects. If we had an engineer, our city would have saved millions of dollars and more money would be available.  Yet “Our Leader’s” hiring and firing practice, and decision for engineers has not only cost us money, but a lawsuit pending from a former engineer.  Our city is basically, a “graveyard” for engineering jobs.

The Hamister hotel project should be called a “hoax-tel” and a scam.  “Our Leader” has stated in the past how critically important this hotel was for our city. For over three years, this “hoax-tel scam” has kept a million prime location next to the falls undeveloped.  This “hoax-tel” was used as a political tool in favor of “Our Leader” to get rid of an unfavorable councilman, who was right about the Hamister deal.  “Our Leader” was right when he said this deal would be a “game changer”.  Although not likely, even if one day that hotel is built, our city has already missed out on revenues because this deal prevented other potential investors, who were prepared, to develop the land.

Enough is enough.  Niagara Falls is in trouble.  While our city pursues parking meter revenues, I feel we should be addressing the more urgent problems our city faces, including wasteful spending.  Our city needs to quit accepting “crumbs”, and scraps for all the revenue and development we should possess and have more urgency addressing the condition of our city.  If we don’t, it’s only a matter of time before we have to rely on the state to come in and fix things.


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