HAMILTON: Waldo Found! Councilman Ezra Scott “ Officially” Drops Out of Mayoral / Council Race

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By: Ken Hamilton

The Niagara Reporter’s March 6, 2019 Analysis indicated that the voters were looking for the seemingly illusive Waldo-like candidate to officially announce his 2019 run for the mayorship of the city of Niagara Falls. As we pointed out, “From all indications, by the end of the year the city may have lost the services of the bright, inquisitive, obviously ambitious, up and coming City Councilman Ezra Scott.”

We were right. Today, April 4, 2019, Scott has sent in his official declination letter for his mayoral quest; however, he has not indicated if he would finish his term as city councilman or not.  We believe that he will.

Photo: Then-candidate Ezra P. Scott, Jr., Legislator Mark Grozio and Councilman Robert Anderson, Jr. 

Scott’s official email notice reads as follows:

 “In 2015, I was fortunate to be elected and serve the City of Niagara Falls as your City Councilman. I have opposed the Goat Island Lodge, advocated and urged the NFTA not to redistribute routes serving our residents, been an advocate for our youth, an advocate for homeownership and financial literacy, working to redevelop the Niagara Community Center, supported the new Casino spending plan created to promote fiscal responsibility, and I am passionate about serving as a “watchdog” to the taxpayers’ monies. I am the organizer of the Niagara Falls Peacemakers, and I have organized as well as participated in many community events.

“Since taking my seat as your City Councilman, I have developed a stronger understanding that “charity begins at home.” I have worked on improving myself personally and as a leader in the community. I’ve completed Toastmasters, Leadership Niagara, and in May I will have officially completed my MBA from Niagara University with a dual concentration in Human Resource Management and Strategic Management.

“I recently proposed to my childhood crush with plans to marry her. We are also scheduled to close on our first home next month. Moreover, last but not least, in 2017 I was blessed with a beautiful son and a daughter. With much thought, I’ve decided to not run for office this election cycle. I am not done with serving the City of Niagara Falls, as helping the community is a passion of mine. However, I have concluded that charity begins at home and it is best to handle my responsibilities there before taking on more responsibilities outside of my home and family.

“Due to having an insatiable appetite for growth I welcome all constructive criticism. As well as I invite anyone in need of any assistance to contact me anytime at (716)579-4126 or Ezrapscottjr4nf@gmail.com. My heart remains with the people and the City of Niagara Falls, NY.”

The March 6th Analysis continued, “To win his first election, Scott had to wear out a pair of shoes by walking the city with a huge affable smile on his face, petitions and campaign material in his left hand, and the hands and hearts of the city’s voters in the other hand. That was tough enough to do in the warmer weather, but how ominous would it be now for upstate candidates to go door-to-door in goulashes while carrying clipboards loaded with iced-over petitions in one hand and a snow shovel in the other, he would now have to wear himself out to do so.”

We continued with, “… [having have] spoken with several of those from Buffalo and Niagara Falls whom might otherwise be considered his advisors … (t)hey all said that they would have liked for him to have done another term as a councilman before climbing into the mayor’s chair.”

Scott is the kind of young man that seeks the advice of several more experienced people than himself before he does most anything, and that is a good thing. It looked like he did so in this case.  Scott’s email further goes on to indicate that he is indeed ambitious, smart and affable, and that he asks a lot of questions of a lot of diverse sources before coming to a decision. I said of him that, “I can only imagine the amount of good that Scott’s initially naïve but continuing improvement could have brought.” Apparently, he imagined it likewise, as he indicates that he is improving his education in order to improve the quality of service that he would like to give to the city.

Scott’s not running to be elected as mayor or for reelection in the council improves the opportunity for his lifelong friend and community activist Dontae Myles to have a successful run for his first-time bid for a council seat. If Myles wins, he would then effectively be the only African American on the council.  If he doesn’t, then it would be the first time since the election of Councilman Charles Walker in 1998. With his post-election early seating, Scott effectively is in his 2nd term after replacing the late Councilman Robert Anderson, who passed away while in office.  Charles Walker was elected several years after black former Councilman Andrew Walker left the city prior to the end of his term in office, and didn’t run for reelection. Because he didn’t resign, he was simply marked absent for the duration of his term.

 Scott pointed out in his official declination much of what was inferred in the March 6th Analysis: that being the things that were going on in his personal life.  We said, “Given some very positive opportunities and upcoming events in his personal life, now may be the time for him to echo a part of the career of former Buffalo mayor and former President Grover Cleveland by taking a break from political office and coming back a more refreshed and stable family man.”

With a fellow like Scott, who knows? But it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him going for a three-fer at city council, followed by that run for mayor.

Leaving in the 2019 mayoral race is Director of Community Development and Code Enforcement Seth Piccirillo, and Board of Education member Robert Restaino for the Democrats; and prospectively Republican and Niagara Falls Water Board Supervisor Glenn Choolokian.  Stay tuned.


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