March 16, 2011

Circling the Drain

Paul Dyster’s Niagara Falls is in very dire financial straits these days.

Two stories, one written by the pro-Dyster propagandists at the Niagara Gazette, and the other in the Buffalo News, reveal that the Cataract City’s fiscal future is cloudy at best. Now, both publications blame external forces, and the Gazette article, which quotes from Democrat apparatchik Maria Brown at length is particularly laughable, but the message is very clear: revenue is drying up, and fast.

Blame the Senecas, if you want. Their illegal withholding of money due to New York State and local governments from their slot machines is contemptible. That it’s putting additional strain on Niagara Falls’ finances is, of course, unfortunate.

But that doesn’t make Paul Dyster a victim of external forces. And, just speaking the language of fiscal conservatism now shouldn’t allow him to hide from his own shameful actions that have led Niagara Falls to the brink of fiscal disaster:

“There are a variety of forces operating in New York state that are eventually going to affect all municipalities, including us,” Dyster said. “I think it’s very important for us to watch every dollar that we spend in municipal government.”

That’s Dyster now.

But two years ago, a different Paul Dyster had this to say:

"We're talking about putting something up there that is a public monument and that is public art," Dyster said. "So we're trying to spend money in order to create something that is going to be of lasting value."

Then, Dyster was justifying spending $435,000 to create “public art” in the middle of a downtown traffic circle.

Of course, we like Maria Brown’s take on things: “We’re very disappointed that we didn’t make budget and we are going to be looking at what’s going on and what the city needs to do to improve its operations,” she said.

Aw, shucks. When you put a big smiley-face on it, and reveal what a plucky optimist you are at heart, your absolute mismanagement of the city’s finances just doesn’t seem so bad, now, does it?

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