Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 25, 2013

In head engineer's absence, OT costs build in department

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Dyster has restored the salary in his proposed budget for 2014, but it seems as though that move will not find support on the council.

Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti told the Gazette she might support a slight increase in the salary but would not support fully restoring the line in an October interview, saying she felt the city could draw a qualified candidate from the sizable talent pool pushed out by the many area colleges and universities.

Dyster said he has talked with industry professionals and the $96,000 figure - which would be the top end of the salary range for the position - is necessary to attract an engineer qualified to handle the many larger-scale capital projects the city is engaged in and will be starting in the near future.

“We just felt, having talked to people in the market who know these things, that it was unlikely the position was going to get filled,” Dyster said in reference to the reduced salary.

A high turnover of city engineers — Dyster has seen four leave during his time as mayor — in what were at times contentious situations that were chronicled in the press could add to the challenge, Dyster said. 

POLITICS AT PLAY

In addition, the politicization of the position, with engineers being “attacked” publicly by council members regardless of the quality of their work, will mean the city might have to pay more for talent, he said.

Skurka told the Gazette he felt the cut to his salary was “retaliatory treatment” and that council members were targeting his pay because he would not bend to their will, particularly on a Pine Avenue light project that he and New York State Department of Transportation engineers deemed unnecessary and possibly dangerous in a December interview.

“We also heard that those things were going to mean you would have to pay top dollar to get a good candidate,” Dyster said. “People would feel it was kind of risky to come here.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results