Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster rather abruptly had to leave the Memorial Medical Center press conference to promote cardiac health, held Friday at City Hall in order to attend Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press event at Daemen College in Amherst.
Many local politicians were in attendance, including State Sens. George Maziarz and Mark Grisanti, and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.
Dyster summed up the event for the Niagara Gazette: "Gov. Cuomo's agenda for New York is ambitious and desperately needed. Our great state is suffering from years of overspending and overtaxing."
In a spirit akin to prophecy he added, "Today we change course and take the difficult but vital steps that are necessary to rebuild a strong New York."
Questions naturally arise.
Did we really change course? Who is "we"? And how the hell, really, does he know?
Dyster certainly isn't part of his own proclaimed solution.
He talks about the "suffering from years of overspending and overtaxing," but he raised taxes more than any mayor in the past 20 years, including a whopping increase this year of nearly 3 percent.
And Dyster has overspent in proportions that dwarf anything his predecessors have done, splurging on everything from hiring out-of-town nobodies as top aides at $100,000 a year, to approving millions in change orders for the courthouse without getting bids, to giving literally millions in studies, grants and other work to campaign donors.
His overspending is the sole reason taxes were raised this year.
No mayor ever overspent so freely as Dyster.
The mayor did get about 15 seconds with the new governor, who was here to talk about budget cuts and serious state and local business.
What did Dyster do with his opportunity?
He handed the governor a Green Bay Packers jersey with Niagara Falls native James Starks' name on it.
Dyster's son apparently played on the Niagara Falls high school football team with Starks, and naturally Dyster wants the rest of the world to be as happy as he is. But his clownish behavior lifts the terms "jock sniffer" to new heights.
Dyster could have used the opportunity to discuss any number of serious issues: the casino, the economy, demolition needs, tourism, power allocation, the airport, our downtown, lack of jobs, public safety. He could have prepared a memo for the governor detailing how he envisions the state and city working together. In other words -- a plan.
Instead, the mayor gave our new governor the football jersey of a Wisconsin professional football player, whose team is in the Super Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
To say this guy is out of touch with what the city needs and what the residents are looking for in a political leader is a major understatement.