May 6, 2008

You Get What You Pay For

Regular readers of this site know that we are pretty hawkish when it comes to taxes and spending. But I want to be one of the voices who congratulate Niagara Falls for going out and spending what was required to bring in top notch talent for City Administrator. While some may blink at the price tag, $110,000, the fact is you get what you pay for.

Previous City Adminstrators made $60K which may help explain the state of government in Niagara Falls. Local foundations will kick in to help pay for some of the salary to ease additional burden on taxpayers.

Of course, a salary like this in a town as poor as Niagara Falls is bound to cause some stir...especially when huge numbers of citizens are on public assistance. But again, you get what you pay for and the city needs some good, talented people in leadership positions.

Now, the real question is will this woman bring fresh ideas, good management skills and the ability to work with others to the position or will she think she IS the chief executive like another out of towner who came to town....Greg Lewis, I'm looking at you.

Seriously, best of luck. The full story on her hiring can be found at:


Anonymous said...

What has Greg Lewis brought to Niagara County except his 350 lbs gut?

Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting topic. How important is leadership to our community and what are we willing to pay our elected and appointed officials?

In Buffalo, many City employees earn wages in excess of the Mayor. The employees may deserve salaries in excess of $100,000 per year, but shouldn't the Mayor be the highest paid employee? If not, then what does that say about the importance of leadership?

I do not like the fact that Chris Collins waived his salary. I think that the pool of candidates who are able to perform the duties of County Executive, but can work for free, is very small.

If we complain about the quality of our leadership, does it follow logically that we are not paying enough to recruit the right people?

What do most of our leaders in Niagara County earn? Mayors, Supervisors, Legislators, Councilmen?

Frank DeGeorge said...

Last anon is right on. Salaries for elected officials are relatively small in relation to the budget but they are an easy thing for the public to glom onto. Ignore the fact that we're pissing away millions with multiple water authorities, police forces, highway departments, etc. in our county. Instead, get angry that we bump pay for a legislator from $15K to $30K to attract more candidates.

We get the government we deserve.

fed up in da falls said...

Maybe paying the NF administrator a real salary will cut down on the moonlighting that Dan Bristol was doing or elimnate some of the bordeline corruption that has plagued the Falls for years. I just hope this woman is up to the task.

Frank DeGeorge said...

The Reporter has an interesting take on this, with anonymous donors contrubting to the fund that pays the salary. I guess this is cleaner than Anello just taking "loans" from those doing business with the city.

Larry S said...

Good for Dyster. It's about time someone running the city started thinking at least a little bit outside the box. NF wasn't going to get someone qualified to run the city for $60,000. As good as that money is, it will take an experienced person to make some serious headway in righting the city.

Anonymous said...

I'm pleasantly surprised that everyone seems to be in agreement that you need to pay for better talent than Niagara Falls has had in recent years. If this person is even decent, the money will have been well spent. Kudos to Dyster for not merely putting another public sector has-been, retread in the position.

sick & tired said...

The key to Dyster's CA appointment is NOT in the person selected, but in the appointments the CA makes once she gets here. Say what you will about "public-sector has-beens," this is NY State and the public sector operates, on a legal basis, different from the private sector.

That said, while political leadership and public administration are important, citizens have come to place too much hope and too much blame on the shoulders of public officials for the state of our community.

Public officials did not cause lucrative, major taxpaying heavy industry from our area. Nor were high taxes more than just a factor in those moves (the IDA can counter that). Those decisions were made in multi-national corporate HQs to shift our jobs to less developed countries with near-slave labor wages, few environmental controls or other health and safety rules and regulations.

Just look at the Delphi dynamics. Despite persistent public subsidies (remember "Maziarz"'s $20 million gift?) and focused attention by local officials, the local Delphi operation has steadily declined to the point where no one will be surprised when the operation is all but gone from Lockport.

So while I wish Dyster well and hope that he's made a wise choice, only time will tell whether this new management team in Niagara Falls will focus on what can be done to improve the quality of the city. Implementing systematic repair programs, facilitating recreational activities and providing for the public safety. That is, provide for the business of government and resist the temptation to subsidize the private sector. Just get out of the way and the city economy will rebuild itself organically, without artificial inducements.

Anonymous said...

Francine DelMonte, 46, of Niagara Falls, was charged with loitering at 8:18 a.m. Thursday. DelMonte was walking on 19th Street Thursday morning and offered a motorist oral sex in exchange for money, according to the driver, who alerted police. DelMonte also was taken in on a warrant for a previous loitering charge.