Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 25, 2013

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

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — But Dyster believes the politicization of the position will no longer be a concern after the new year with Andrew Touma set to replace two-term Councilman Sam Fruscione after winning his seat in the fall elections.

Touma, along with Grandinetti and Councilman Charles Walker, campaigned as candidates willing to work with the mayor to move the city forward.

Fruscione, along with Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian and Councilman Robert Anderson Jr., have often opposed the Dyster’s initiatives, characterizing themselves as taxpayer watchdogs.

Dyster said that with a city council that has pledged to work with him a new city engineer would not have to worry about retaliation from the council.

“I think it will be less likely that someone would be badgered by the council, whether they deserved it or not,” he said.

Dyster said he and the council will need to work together to make sure the position is filled quickly, as the city is currently out of compliance with the city charter with no department head in place.

With the overtime costs in the engineering department in Skurka’s absence, Dyster thinks it will help him convince council members that the $96,000 in the line for the city engineer will help his administration find a good candidate and will save money in the end.

“We have to have a salary range that extends up to that number in order to have a good chance of getting a qualified candidate in a reasonable amount of time,” Dyster said.

Big Red Number $47K Amount of overtime paid to city engineers since late April

Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257

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