Paul Dyster

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Paul A. Dyster
33rd Mayor of Niagara Falls, New York
Assumed office
January 1, 2008
Preceded by Vincenzo V. Anello
Niagara Falls City Council Member
In office
January 1, 2000 – December 31, 2003
Personal details
Born (1954-04-21) April 21, 1954 (age 63)
Niagara Falls, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Rebecca
Children 2
Residence Niagara Falls

Paul A. Dyster (born April 21, 1954) is the incumbent mayor of Niagara Falls, New York. He is a Democrat.[1]

Political career[edit]

Dyster became a city councilman in 2000 under Mayor Irene Elia. He then gave up his council seat after one term to run for mayor and was one of four Democratic candidates, who were Dyster, Niagara County Legislator Sam Granieri, Niagara Falls Water Board employee Glenn Choolokian, and City Councilman Vince Anello. Anello won the primary narrowly and went on to win in a landslide against then-Mayor Irene Elia, who was running for a second term.

In the Democratic Primary in September 2007, Dyster won by a narrow margin over Councilman Lewis Rotella, who was considered the favorite to win the primary. Then-Mayor Anello could not run for reelection due to his violation of state election law by having volunteers who were not in his political party nor registered to vote pass out petitions. Anello went on to be indicted on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and scheme to defraud and was sentenced to federal prison in January 2011 for a separate charge of filing false documents.

On Election Day in 2008, Dyster won the city election by a landslide. More than 70 percent of voters voted for Dyster[citation needed], who defeated Republican Former City Councilwoman Candra Thomason. Preceding him is a succession of four one-term mayors; Jacob A. Palillo, James C. Galie, Irene J. Elia and Vincenzo V. Anello.

Under the Dyster Administration, a new courthouse and public safety building was finished and received LEED certification.

In December 2010, Dyster announced that he would seek re-election in 2011. Dyster ran in the primary against former Niagara Falls lawmaker and insurance executive John Accardo (endorsed by the Conservative Party of New York State), community activist Carnell Burch, and former United States Postal Service employee Norton Douglas. In May 2011, the Niagara Falls Democratic Committee endorsed Dyster. In the September 13, 2011 Democratic Primary, he had a resounding victory, garnering 56% of the vote in a four-person field.[2]

In the general election, Dyster defeated Republican challenger Johnny G. Destino and Conservative Party candidate John Accardo, the latter of whom he had defeated in the primary and had not actively campaigned since the primary, winning 52% of the vote against 45% of the vote going to Destino. The remaining 3% went to Accardo. Dyster is the first mayor after a succession of four one-term mayors spanning from 1991 to 2007 to win re-election.

The Dyster Administration[edit]

Department Position Name Years serving
City Administrator Donna D. Owens 2008-2016
Nick Melson 2016-Present
Assessor's Office Assessor Dominic Penale, Jr.* 2008–2011
James R. Bird 2011-
Code Enforcement Building Commissioner Guy A. Bax* 2008–2010
Director Dennis F. Virtuoso 2010-2016
Building Commissioner Louis Fontana 2016-Present
Community Development Director Robert Antonucci 2008-2011
Seth Piccirillo 2012-
Office of the City Clerk City Clerk Carol Antonucci* 2008-
Finance Controller Maria Brown* 2008-2016
Sandra Peploe (Acting) 2016-Present
Economic Development Director Peter F. Kay 2008–2011
Executive Director, NFC Development Corporation and Director of Business Development Anthony Vilardo 2015-Present
Engineering City Engineer Ali Marzban Mar. 2009-Jul. 2009
Thomas Radomski 2010-May 2011
Jeffrey Skurka Jul. 2011-Apr. 2013
Equal Employment Opportunity Office EEO Officer Ruby A. Pulliam 2010 (Position created) -2012 (Position abolished)(Department merged with Human Resources, 2012)
Fire Department Fire Chief William MacKay* 2008–2010
Roger Melchior Nov. 2010-Jan. 2011
Thomas Colangelo Jan. 2012-
Human Resources Director Joyce Mardon-Serianni* 2008-Aug. 2011
Ruby Pulliam Jan. 2012-
Department of Law Corporation Counsel Craig H. Johnson 2008-
Management Information Services Lead Systems Engineer John Cahill* 2008-2014
Director Joseph Morock, Jr. 2015-Present
Planning and Environmental Services Senior Planner Thomas DeSantis* 2008-
Police Department Superintendent John Chella* 2008-2013
Bryan DalPorto 2013-
Public Works Director David L. Kinney 2008-2015
John L. Caso 2015-Present
Purchasing Purchasing Agent Dean W. Spring* 2008-2013
Director of Purchasing Johnny Destino 2015-Present

*Appointed by a previous administration

Pre-mayoral career[edit]

Education and public relations[edit]

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Environmental Leadership Institute at Niagara University in Lewiston, New York.

He also served as Director of the Graduate Program in International Affairs at The Pentagon from September 1989 to August 1994, and assistant professor for the Department of Politics from 1985 to December 1993 at Catholic University of America.

Dyster was a Fellow of International Affairs for the Council on Foreign Relations from 1987 to 1988.

Dyster was a program coordinator and lecturer from September 1980 to May 1981 at Johns Hopkins University.

Business and community experience[edit]

Dyster was a columnist for the Home Wine & Beer Trade Association's (HWBTA) newspaper. He is a nationally certified beer judge, and owns Niagara Tradition, a homebrewing supply store in Tonawanda, New York.

He is currently a Board Emeritus for the Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper and a spokesman for the Niagara River Environmenttal Coalition. He is a member of the Oversight Board for Advancing Arts and Culture Buffalo Niagara. He is a founding member and spokesman for the Niagara Waterfront Revitalization Task Force. He sits on the Board of Directprs for the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center in the Former Niagara Falls High School, and served as the Board President from 2005 to 2007. He is the Board President for the Niagara Experience Center. Dyster is a member of the advisory committee for Save Our Sites Niagara. He served as the Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scouts of America Troop 801 Niagara Falls from 1996 to 2004 and as the Scoutmaster from 2004 to 2005, and as a basketball coach for the Whirlpool Park Little League from 1995 to 1996. Dyster is a group leader for the Life Workshops program at SUNY Buffalo, and is a member of the Niagara River Anglers Association.

Dyster was named Citizen of the Year in 2006 by the Niagara Gazette, the Conservationist of the Year by the Adirondack Mountain Club's Niagara Frontier Chapter in 2006, and was presented with the Good Neighbor Award by the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center in 2006.

Personal life[edit]


Dyster graduated from Bishop Duffy High School in Niagara Falls, New York in 1972. He was valedictorian and Student Council president, and was active on the school's Debate Team and the soccer team. He graduated summa cum laude in 1976 from the University at Buffalo with a B.A., majoring in Political Science and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1979 with an M.A., majoring in Political Science. He later obtained a PhD in 1984 in International Relations and Law.


Dyster was born April 21, 1954 in Niagara Falls, New York, the oldest of 10 children, to Dr. Melvin B. Dyster and the late Mary C. Dyster, both of whom were community activists.

He married Rebecca Ann Lucchetti in 1980 and has two sons Ian and Bert.


Preceded by
Vincenzo V. Anello
Mayor of Niagara Falls, New York
January 1, 2008 – present