Niagara Gazette

Local News

July 13, 2008

JOBS: Help (still) wanted

After six months, four positions remain open in Dyster administration

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster realizes he’s starting to sound like a broken record when it comes to filling four key positions in his administration.

“I think we’re getting close,” the mayor said Friday. “This is something I recognize is taking longer than we had anticipated. We would love to fill as many of these positions as quickly as we can, and nobody can be more in a hurry to do that than me.”

It’s been more than six months since the new mayor announced he was creating a national search to fill some of the city’s top spots. With the exception of Donna Owens’ hiring as city administrator, not much has happened since.

On numerous occasions, Dyster indicated there would be something to report soon, but the predictions never came to fruition, leaving some City Council members questioning the delay.

“I don’t understand why the transition is taking so long, I wish (Dyster) would pick it up a little,” Council Chairman Samuel Fruscione said. “These positions need to be filled as soon as possible. There’s certain things that aren’t getting done.”

Asked for any updates, Dyster said Friday he believes at least one hiring announcement could be made within the next week, however, he declined to give details that could potentially jeopardize a deal. He acknowledged he’s starting to question whether all four remaining positions can be filled through the current search.

“We’re having problems identifying candidates,” he said. “For whatever reason, there’s not many people interested in moving (to Niagara Falls).”

The open positions include the city’s corporation counsel and engineer, both of which have interim employees in place to cover the responsibilities. The other two searches are for a director of economic development and director of tourism, two new positions created by Dyster.

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