HAMILTON: Kimble Owes YOU an Apology

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By: Ken Hamilton

A photograph was taken and placed on Facebook whereas former Niagara County Legislator Renae Kimble was standing with and in support of mayoral candidate Glenn Choolokian. I don’t mind that, I like all three mayoral candidates to varying degrees. Around the same time, October 9th to be exact, a letter to the editor of the Niagara Gazette appeared in the paper under the title of ‘Niagara County Legislature owes Renae Kimble apology for oversight.’  The Niagara Chapter of the NAACP’s so-called president Shirley Hamilton is supposedly have penned it. Given Kimble’s 18-year long track record as a legislator, it’s more like it’s Kimble who continues to owe an apology, not only the those of the statistically poorest and least educated district in the county, but to the legislature and county itself.

The letter was apparently written to extol the virtues of Shirley’s bosom-buddy, Kimble.  I have read virtually everything that Kimble has ever published in the newspapers, and read as well her once joint $35-million lawsuit against two sets of her constituents – her political mentor’s wife and daughter, wife Alma Brown and daughter Cynthia Brown-Saunders as one set for $17.5-million, and little ol’ me being hit for the other $17.5-million.  Alma died soon thereafter.

Having read much of what Kimble has written, as myself a writer, I can read words in the very same way that musicians read music. A musician can look at an arrangement on a sheet of music and actually hear those notes singing in his or her ears. Likewise, a writer can see the paragraphed arrangement of words on a sheet of newsprint and hear the voices of the ones who actually wrote the pieces. If Shirley actually wrote Kimble’s extolling letter, and she was doing it “solo” with her pen, then the manifestation of her voice was “so low” that the only voice that I could hear was that of Kimble’s, albeit some of what Kimble has written have actually been good and on point, though almost always braggadocious. I sincerely doubt if Shirley actually wrote that letter.

But it all takes my mind back to something when folks my age were kids and were mesmerized, even though it was coming over the airwaves in crackling sounds falling into our black and white television sets. It was that of the still-lipped voice of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen as it flowed through the head of Charlie McCarthy, the well-dressed, wooden-headed dummy that sat upon Bergen’s lap. I can only imagine it in terms of Renae and Shirley.


Renae Kimble


Anyway, the timing of Shirley’s love letter to Kimble couldn’t have come at a better time than in that silly season of politicking. It now has been extended to start February — when the sound of candidates confusingly standing on the snowy porches of voters and not knowing if the knocking is of their knuckles on the door or their knees slamming against each other — to November when sometimes the voters stay home on Election Day because of upstate’s coldness. What hangs between the two dates is the July 26, 2019 Gazette editorial that proclaims, ‘We need a plan of action for north end community center.’

In the ‘plan of action’ editorial, the editor writes, “Looking back is not an answer.

“The history of the center and the issues with management that led to its eventual closure are well documented.”

And well documented it is; but in the Gazette’s politeness, most of the managerial problems fall squarely upon the laced laps of the team of Renae and Shirley; and in Shakespeare’s words in The Tempest, unless the community, and city and community leaders understand what happened, then just understand that “… the past is prologue.”

One of the things that likely led Kimble into Choolokian’s camp wasn’t a particular love of Choolokian. As it is with many Niagarans, and why we are where we are, people often campaign more against whom they hate – even if it might be better for them – than for whom they love, who often bring nothing to the table other than just that.

As I said before, I like mayoral candidate Jeffrey Elder for his military experience and his big-budget management while working for FEMA; for Choolokian for helping us to get north Main Street designated as a special enterprise zone that ultimately led to Blue Cardinal Holdings buying up much of the property for near-future development; and Robert Restaino in supporting my Kalfas Magnet School project in his understanding the need of African-American kids needing to know more about their ancestry than just slavery and civil rights. And in the case of Restaino, in his taking on our case in try to wrestle the control of the then-dilapidating Niagara Community Center (Kimble’s Kastle) and putting it back in the hands of the community. I can understand Kimble hating Restaino enough that she would flee into the political refuge of the Glenn.

It was also funny to see what through Shirley that Renae had listed as some of her accomplishments. They contend that, “The leadership of women has been undervalued in America,” Shirley’s letter said. She continues, “Women have strived for equality, happily winning some notable battles; still pressing forward to break down all glass ceilings.”

Yet, I don’t see a glass ceiling when I look at Kimble’s Kastle, all I see are broken glass windows!

They continue, “Many times the accomplishments of trailblazing African American women are de-valued and expunged from the history books by the mere stroke of a pen.” I see it hushed in  inkless ribbons where keystrokes of old Remington typewriters only make unreadable indentations of warnings upon blank white sheets of paper, recording misdeeds of at least one trail-burning African-American woman whom was responsible for creating what devolved from Democratic/Republican caucuses that once swung from one party to the other every four to six years, to one that simply is a politically majority-minority caucus where the only Democrats are the powerless in Niagara Falls.

One of Kimble’s so-called merits of which Shirley supposedly wrote was the creation of an even less-empowered racial minority-majority district that is the most powerless district even in the powerless Niagara Falls, and so inept that its current legislator is considered the Laughingstock of the Legislature.

No Renae, the county owes you nothing in the way of accolades for being the county’s “first woman vice-chair’, as you put it. other than thanking you for the power that they now hold that was once Niagara Falls’, but both Shirley and you do owe your own people the biggest apology that you can give – the farewell that you suckered them into giving you $40 apiece.

But according to the Buffalo News, it says that Niagara County Legislator Rebecca J. Wydysh, was named the legislature’s vice chairwoman “by the Republican caucus … making her the first Republican woman to hold that position.”

And please, if you did so, take credit for what your pen wrote – you are better than that, Rev. Kimble.


**attorney advertising**

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