Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster announced his intention to seek re-election to a third term as mayor of the Cataract City Thursday. The announcement came before a room full of enthusiastic supporters at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 237 union hall on Niagara Falls Boulevard.
Dyster, a Democrat, became the first Falls mayor in a quarter century to win re-election when he won a second term in office in November 2011.
"I'm excited about what we've accomplished already, but I'm even more excited about where we're headed next," Dyster said. "I'm a guy who likes to finish what I've started."
Thanking city workers for helping to create the progress of his first two terms, Dyster listed accomplishments and spoke of future plans, including the introduction of on-board computers on all fire department apparatus by the end of the year and the early adoption of body cameras by the Niagara Falls Police Department, which Dyster said he was proud to say was in the works before the Ferguson incident.
"In a city that used to be called the 'Pothole Capital of the World,' I'm proud to say our DPW department has paved 221 streets during my time in office," he said. "And I'm happy to say we're looking to pave another 40 or so additional streets this year alone."
Dyster cited his ability to partner with government officials at other levels, including Congressman Brian Higgins and New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as one reason why the city had been able to obtain funding for ongoing projects like the Niagara Falls International Railway Station and the Robert Moses Parkway removal project. The RMP plan will restore the city's waterfront access lost during urban renewal.
Citing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's strong commitment to Western New York through the "Buffalo Billion" initiative, Dyster noted there were four hotel projects currently underway in downtown Niagara Falls, and more development in the pipeline.
Drawing a comparison to nearby Buffalo, Dyster noted that, as "steel came out of the ground and cranes appeared on the skyline," people's skepticism about development would give way to optimism and hope.
He said there was more than $300 million worth of projects either under construction already or ready to start soon in the downtown area alone.
"As long as Andrew Cuomo is governor of New York state and he continues his strong commitment to economic revitalization here, who wouldn't want to be mayor of the City of Niagara Falls?" Dyster said.
Dyster said he was humbled by having the opportunity to serve as mayor, and that it was "the greatest honor a person could ever receive" to be elected mayor of the city where he was born.
"We've achieved a lot together over the last several years, but we're not done yet," he said. "If you honor me with a third term in office, I promise you - you ain't seen nothing yet."