|Council member Kristen Grandinetti (above) wants Ken Cosentino to leave town since he doesn't like the job she and Mayor Paul Dyster are doing.
|We asked Ken Cosentino is he cared that Kristen Grandinetti wants him to leave town and this was his reaction.
Last week a Facebook furor erupted, fueled by Niagara Falls Council Member Kristen Grandinetti after she told local filmmaker Ken Cosentino and everyone else in tarnation reading it on Facebook, that if Cosentino, or you or me, don’t like the way the city is run you should move out of town.
"If you don’t like where you are, MOVE, You are not a tree,” the crabby council woman posted to Cosention on public forum on Facebook.
Cosentino’s proposed banishment by Grandinetti, instead of getting her praise for her clever put down remark had the opposite effect as people commented on the idiocy of a sitting councilwoman telling a resident that he should move out of town if in effect he doesn’t like the way her and her main man, Mayor Paul Dyster, are running the city.
By that standard, by the way, about 75 percent of the city will be requested to move out of town if they don’t keep quiet.
Cosentino was not pleased of course by the crude council woman’s snarky comment.
“Kristen Grandinetti insult(ed) the people of Niagara Falls and told me personally that I should move,” Cosentino told the Reporter. “Dozens of people, many whom I don't even know, fired back at her with their disgust in our elected officials. She was quickly turned into a meme, I saw at least 4 different versions circulating the Internet today.”
But what provoked the lady loudmouth to bear down on Cosentino?
It was a Facebook post by Cosentino:
We are running it in this space in full so that people can judge for themselves the nature of Cosentino’s offense and whether a sitting council woman no matter how obtuse should suggest – even sarcastically – that the man should get out of town.
Cosentino wrote, “Currently, in my city we are averaging a shooting every week (sometimes multiple shootings in one day). It's sometimes difficult to determine who is worse: The underground heroin ring, criminals who think they own the city.... OR ....crooked politicians who have only themselves in mind, who think they own the city. It's no big secret that NYS reaps funds from the city of Niagara Falls while the citizens struggle to find gainful employment, of which there is hardly any. This will not change; the city of Niagara Falls, NY was built on graft. It is designed this way.
“Many people ask me, daily, why do I choose to stay here? I'll tell you why: This is my home. My great grandparents came here and my family has been here since. People are ruining the city. The city itself can be torn down, rebuilt, destroyed, neglected, resuscitated... what matters are the people. They are my reason for staying here. We have good people here. We also have a whole ton of criminals here, who use the impoverished economy to their advantage. Now is the time to fight. If we don't do it now, then eventually the city of Niagara Falls will be lost to these fiends, sucked of its life force by dishonest politicians and gangbangers, and revitalization will be difficult tenfold.
“So yes, I choose to live here. I choose to work here. I choose to one day have a house and raise a family here. I grew up here. My memories are here. I see beauty here. We each have to do our best to make Niagara Falls a better place, whether it be through community service or adding our own beauty to the city. If you have a talent and you live here, hone your talent. Sharpen it and put it to use. Find others who are talented and join forces. There is strength in numbers.
“We cannot let our city fall into darkness. This is a special place; a sacred place. The land that the city is built on has soaked up so much blood, this cannot continue. We have to make peaceful efforts. We have to support independent, local artists and business owners.
“If you are someone who is constantly complaining about the state of the city, do something about it. Find a solution. I challenge you to shop at a locally owned business or eat at a locally owned restaurant at least once a week. Keep money circulating locally.
“The state is not going to fix the city. They care about the park, the casino, the power plant, and the profits.
“City hall is not going to fix the city. They care about leaving their mark and immortalizing their own names, building statues to themselves, congratulating their own efforts.
“We have to fix the city. I'm staying. And eventually, I'm buying a gun, because it's becoming like the wild west in Niagara Falls, NY.”
So what was Grandinetti reaction to this eloquent piece of very fine and sensitive writing, posted by Cosentino?
She lashed back at him, posting on Facebook, “How about the time we tried to help you Ken and we didn't do it the way you wanted to so you turn tail and ran and then badmouthed us all over town everybody's got their own perspective myself personally I love the city the people in it and all it has to offer.”
Then she fmously posted “If you don’t like where you are, MOVE, You are not a tree.”
The beginning of the Grandinetti post requires some explanation.
Grandinetti was referring with her “we tried to help you” Ken Cosentino to the time when Mayor Dyster, trying to help his own reelection campaign in 2011, chased the filmmaker Cosentino and begged him to accept $10,000 in taxpayer money to assist Cosentino and his partner complete the low budget but critically acclaimed horror comedy action film noir, “Crimson.”
Dyster knew that the more than 100 locals Cosentino had put to work on the film would translate into votes. And he encouraged Cosentino to talk up Dyster’s big helping hand with the press.
Cosentino accepted – a mistake - he later told the Reporter – because he came to learn that the best art is made without taxpayer subsidies but through the honest exertions of the artist.
But it didn’t really matter anyway since Dyster – after reaping headlines in the local media as a notable patron of the local movie industry - quickly and quietly changed the terms of the deal from a $10,000 grant into a $6,500 loan.
Cosentino exposed Dyster’s motives and how the beggarly mayor chased him and not vice versa to hand out the money and try to pimp the talented director-writer Cosentino out to get good press for his reelection efforts.
So Grandinetti had a reason to want Cosentino out of town anyway. His letter just made him that much more undesirable to share the city she and her mayor so lovingly and effectively rule.
But the real issue that sparked the hot debate which was the mornonic "you’re not a tree so move" comment.
As people condemned her comment, Grandinetti kept it going.
“You people break my heart you are so removed from your community and reality it's a shame,” the nimble fingered council woman pecked on her keyboard and posted.
Cosentino fired back, "'You people' are the tax paying citizens of Niagara Falls, NY. We live here, just like you, and we have a right to voice our opinion and disdain for the condition of our city. And instead of retaliating with insults, Kristen, you as an elected city official should listen to our words.”
Grandinetti wasn’t about to give up: “Didn’t someone get a grant from this terrible little city to pursue your dreams”?
John Walter Henry chimed in at this point: “I’m glad we have such awful inconsiderate people looking out for us. Move. What a lazy response. Do your job or gtfo.”
Ken Badger wrote, “Ken Cosentino I applaud you for staying and committing to finding solutions. It’s one thing to criticize, but to coming with solutions as well is what a lot of us forget to do. Your opinion of our city is not just yours, you are the one of the ones brave enough to say it out loud and take whatever response comes with that. And you're built for that and some! Appreciate you bro!”
Sam Archie wrote “The sad part of this thread is the attitude of an elected official Grandinetti. Instead of acknowledging your concern and well written post she insults you Ken Cosentino. Don't feel bad you’re in good company I once stated how a certain area was in bad shape she said on Face Book I should leave town. Real class act from our council person.”
Cosentino wrote, “Her comments only prove my point Sam Archie.”
Tina Cosentino Flynn wrote, “Well said Sam Archie. And she just continues to keep going on about how it’s our fault the city is in the shape it is. Us taxpayers did not cause this and we should not have to move just because the elected officials in the last eight years caused the quality of life here to go down. Maybe they need to be reminded who put them in office and who can be happy to take them out when their time is up.”
Joshua Allen Hibbard wrote, “Ken, this is one of the most beautifully written and point blank honest takes I've seen on the falls in a Long time.”
But don’t tell that to Councilwoman Grandinetti, she might ask you to leave town.