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Dyster off to good start Careful planning of Niagara Falls team offers hope for good city leadership

Hopeful residents of Niagara Falls should be pleased that Mayor-elect Paul A. Dyster is taking his time in figuring out who he wants to put in key positions.

As Dyster put it to a Buffalo News reporter after he won overwhelming election last week, "To me, the transition is a single, integrated thing that involves trying to make certain that all of the tools are in place to do what we want to do." Figure out your goals, then hire the best people possible to reach them. There's an idea.

Dyster was the "other" unlikely candidate to win a top executive position in Western New York last week, and if his success isn't quite as startling as that of Republican businessman -- and now Erie County Executive-elect -- Christopher C. Collins, both share a passion for reform and organization such as neither government has seen before.

Unlike Collins, a political novice who defied odds by winning in a predominantly Democratic county, Dyster is a former City Council member and Democrat in a Democratic town. Still, he obliterated the party's endorsed candidate, Lewis "Babe" Rotella, in the September primary, winning 62 percent of the vote. And he has generated a pitch of enthusiasm that has much of Niagara Falls buzzing like a tuning fork.

We believe that this region, by and large, functions as a single entity, and that the political boundaries falsely diagram its needs. If Western New York desperately needs a functioning, thriving Buffalo to meet its potential, the same is true of Niagara Falls. A region that fumbles the kind of advantage with which Niagara Falls is blessed -- a world-class, internationally renowed tourist attraction -- can't truly succeed.

That's just one of the reasons all Western New Yorkers must wish Dyster good luck as he works to restore some vigor to a prostrate city. Niagara Falls has been a victim of circumstance, it is true, but it also has been a victim of bad decision-making, by businessmen, elected officials and others. Dyster's election looks like a good decision. Here's hoping it's the start of a trend.

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