August 19, 2010

Nero’s Heirs

When word broke, finally, about Lockport developer David Ulrich’s proposal to put Niagara County Community College’s Culinary Arts Institute back on track—while simultaneously locating the Institute in Lockport, rather than in Dyster’s Dystopia—we found ourselves chuckling.

Longtime readers know, of course, that we’ve found plenty to criticize about the proposed Culinary Institute since its inception. But it is the course that NCCC—both President James Klyczek and a majority of the Board of Trustees—seems committed to.

Sadly, though, it is the latest thing to unmask the utter ineptness of both Paul Dyster and Francine DelMonte.

The Dynamic Democratic Duo have, after all, spent years stumbling from one failed site in the Falls to another. First, there was the Crowne Plaza. Well, that is, until the Crowne Plaza went bankrupt. (Apparently, neither Dyster nor DelMonte bothered to check the Crowne’s financials before deeming it their site of choice.) So, the DelMonte-Dyster Brain Trust came up with a new plan: to site the proposed Culinary Institute in the Rainbow Centre Mall.

And yet, even with a $6.6 million matching grant from New York State, a commitment of $1.5 million from the City of Niagara Falls, and another $1.5 million available from Niagara County, somehow, they screwed up the negotiations.

That’s two Dyster-DelMonte sites down. In baseball parlance, Dyster has no balls and two strikes against him. Of course, given the decrepit condition of Niagara Falls—a city that seems to get worse by the day—we can’t help but wonder if even NCCC has been secretly squeamish about putting its assets into a captainless ship that just keeps on taking on water.

Of course, since the Rainbow Centre deal imploded earlier this year, no fewer than six sites in Niagara Falls—some downtown and one as far apace as LaSalle—have been proposed for the culinary center. Unfortunately, though, Paul and Francine have been stalled since then, unsure what to do next.

It would appear, however, that Ulrich—a no-nonsense developer with a penchant for making the trains run on time—hasn’t been stalled. For the few remaining businessmen in the Falls, the failure of their own leaders to act may be the thing that dooms them.

Given the heavy Italian-American population of the Falls, many of our readers there will recall the story of Emperor Nero playing his lyre—“fiddling”—as Rome burned to the ground around him. It would seem that, in Dyster and DelMonte, Nero has two worthy heirs.


lewiston razor said...

How can Mayor Dyster make a decision on the culinary arts deal when he can't decide on a fire chief? Chief MacKay has been gone for two months and the mayor is "studying the situation" before naming a replacement. As for the location of the culinary institute rumor has it that Dyster wants to put it in his new train station. Choo-choo!

James T. Kirk said...

Hobbes, I must say, your Photoshopping skills have improved over the years. That's brilliant. And very lifelike!

lewiston razor said...

I understand that Dyster's friend and fellow city employee - Kevin Cottrell - who runs the Underground Railroad project in Niagara Falls is operating his own private business while on city time: "Motherland Connextions Underground Railroad Tour Company". So Dyster pays him $75,000 per year and lets him run a business out of city hall. How do you spell "FRAUD" rising to the level of a "FELONY"?