Niagara Gazette

October 11, 2012

HAMILTON: Legislator Steed cried where Kimble once ruled

By Ken Hamilton
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — In my Jan. 13, 2011, column, titled “Event to celebrate unity is pulled apart,” I asked the question, “Why is Legislator Renae Kimble hijacking the Poor People’s Luncheon? Owen Steed … wants to know — and you should too.”

That was then.

In the absence of anyone else putting together the 2011 annual Poor People’s Luncheon, Owen Steed, that year’s recipient of the NCCJ-MLK Civil Rights Award, had planned and all but put the event together himself, when he stopped, nearly at the last minute, saying that Kimble told him that she was going to do it.

Without protest, Steed fed his lunch to Kimble.

Without a doubt, that column launched the political career of Steed and he became the new 4th District legislator. That luncheon likely became the straw that politically broke ‘the Kimble’s’ back and let her know that it was time for her to leave.

But this is now, and maybe Kimble left too soon, at least for the seniors who eat lunch at St. John’s AME Church.

Whereas Kimble figuratively ate Steed’s lunch on the Poor People’s Luncheon deal, in a recently convened committee meeting that determined if the county was going to close down three of its Chat and Chew senior nutrition sites, Steed not only failed to convince his colleagues in the Niagara County Legislature that they should not unnecessarily close down the site at St. John’s AME Church in the city’s North End, but upon his failure to convince, the man protested by actually breaking down and crying.

But this is now.

Now nobody’s eating lunch at all, well, at least not at St. John’s.

That’s right, the nice guy who won the vote to represent his district with no other qualifications than he was a nice guy, openly sobbed. And I heard that they were pretty nice tears, too.

To some, that may have been quite touching. I can almost hear them saying, “Oh, he loved those seniors so much that, when he could not save them, he wept for them.”

I say, “Yeah, he cried alright. He cried all the way to the bank.” He got paid to cry.

We pay our government officials — not for being nice but for being successful. And thus far, I have not seen a single success that he has brought back from Lockport with him.

Now brace yourselves.

Neither you nor I would have ever expected to hear this coming out of my mouth, but in this case, those seniors at St. John’s would have been far better served had Kimble remained in office.

Whereas, in that committee meeting where Steed apparently thought that he was in some Romper Room nursery someplace, Kimble would have been teaching class. She would have been the one to leave that room, smiling and tearless with a still-opened Chat and Chew at St. John’s. That is, if those legislators even had the stones to bring it up the subject of closing the facility — which they probably would not have done so.

It would have been the legislators who wanted to vote to close the facility in that committee room who would have been left crying and having nightmares when Kimble left, instead of quietly giggling at Steed’s tears.

So come on Steed, it’s morning in Niagara. Man up — at least to the degree that the woman who preceded you “manned up.” Make up your mind if you want to be a stallion or a gelding? Haven’t we constituents already shed enough tears because of things closing in this city? Do we really need you in Lockport crying, too?

Twenty-two months after you lost your first of two luncheons, it is we constituents who want to know why. Post script: In a conversation with Ken Generwick of the Niagara County Nutrition Program, I learned that his office is considering keeping the St. John’s facility open for three days a week.

Post-post script: With not enough youths in our neighborhood churches, and with them filled with seniors, here is a perfect opportunity for those seniors to help other seniors and get a nutritional meal at the same time. If you are over 60, or have enough members of your church or other social group that are, then why don’t you all take turns, each church or group, and send 10-15 people to St. John’s one day a week.

I hear that they have cake for dessert.

In my Jan. 13, 2011, column, titled “Event to celebrate unity is pulled apart,” I asked the question, “Why is Legislator Renae Kimble hijacking the Poor People’s Luncheon? Owen Steed … wants to know — and you should too.”

That was then.

In the absence of anyone else putting together the 2011 annual Poor People’s Luncheon, Owen Steed, that year’s recipient of the NCCJ-MLK Civil Rights Award, had planned and all but put the event together himself, when he stopped, nearly at the last minute, saying that Kimble told him that she was going to do it.

Without protest, Steed fed his lunch to Kimble.

Without a doubt, that column launched the political career of Steed and he became the new 4th District legislator. That luncheon likely became the straw that politically broke ‘the Kimble’s’ back and let her know that it was time for her to leave.

But this is now, and maybe Kimble left too soon, at least for the seniors who eat lunch at St. John’s AME Church.

Whereas Kimble figuratively ate Steed’s lunch on the Poor People’s Luncheon deal, in a recently convened committee meeting that determined if the county was going to close down three of its Chat and Chew senior nutrition sites, Steed not only failed to convince his colleagues in the Niagara County Legislature that they should not unnecessarily close down the site at St. John’s AME Church in the city’s North End, but upon his failure to convince, the man protested by actually breaking down and crying.

But this is now.

Now nobody’s eating lunch at all, well, at least not at St. John’s.

That’s right, the nice guy who won the vote to represent his district with no other qualifications than he was a nice guy, openly sobbed. And I heard that they were pretty nice tears, too.

To some, that may have been quite touching. I can almost hear them saying, “Oh, he loved those seniors so much that, when he could not save them, he wept for them.”

I say, “Yeah, he cried alright. He cried all the way to the bank.” He got paid to cry.

We pay our government officials — not for being nice but for being successful. And thus far, I have not seen a single success that he has brought back from Lockport with him.

Now brace yourselves.

Neither you nor I would have ever expected to hear this coming out of my mouth, but in this case, those seniors at St. John’s would have been far better served had Kimble remained in office.

Whereas, in that committee meeting where Steed apparently thought that he was in some Romper Room nursery someplace, Kimble would have been teaching class. She would have been the one to leave that room, smiling and tearless with a still-opened Chat and Chew at St. John’s. That is, if those legislators even had the stones to bring it up the subject of closing the facility — which they probably would not have done so.

It would have been the legislators who wanted to vote to close the facility in that committee room who would have been left crying and having nightmares when Kimble left, instead of quietly giggling at Steed’s tears.

So come on Steed, it’s morning in Niagara. Man up — at least to the degree that the woman who preceded you “manned up.” Make up your mind if you want to be a stallion or a gelding? Haven’t we constituents already shed enough tears because of things closing in this city? Do we really need you in Lockport crying, too?

Twenty-two months after you lost your first of two luncheons, it is we constituents who want to know why. Post script: In a conversation with Ken Generwick of the Niagara County Nutrition Program, I learned that his office is considering keeping the St. John’s facility open for three days a week.

Post-post script: With not enough youths in our neighborhood churches, and with them filled with seniors, here is a perfect opportunity for those seniors to help other seniors and get a nutritional meal at the same time. If you are over 60, or have enough members of your church or other social group that are, then why don’t you all take turns, each church or group, and send 10-15 people to St. John’s one day a week.

I hear that they have cake for dessert.

Contact Ken Hamilton at kenhamilton930@aol.com.