With the state Senate and Assembly finally departing Albany after the passage of the state budget a few weeks back, one of the more interesting angles missed by the local media has to do with our friends at the New York Power Authority (NYPA).
For several months, the NYPA Board of Trustees, which consists of seven seats, has had at least two openings. There were three for quite some time, but Mark O'Luck was named to one of the open spots a couple of months ago.
Back in May, H. Carl McCall, former New York State Comptroller and 2002 gubernatorial candidate, put forth Niagara County Legislator Renae Kimble for consideration for one of the, at that time, three openings for the NYPA Board of Trustees. Now, McCall is a heavyweight in New York politics. He has a significant amount of clout, and when he asks for something, he usually gets it.
Kimble, for her part, has been quite critical of the Power Authority, and rightly so. Unlike her supposed Minority Leader in the county legislature, Dennis Virtuoso, who wouldn't know what a megawatt of power is if it hit him in his taxpayer-funded hair weave, Kimble has had the courage to recognize how badly NYPA has screwed Niagara County. Kimble deserves much credit for being honest and direct on this topic. Frankly, Kimble would make an excellent addition to the NYPA Board.
Unfortunately for Kimble, she has an enemy in Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte. In fact, DelMonte's hatred for Kimble runs so deep that when DelMonte found out that McCall had put forth Kimble's name for consideration to the board, DelMonte stormed the office of Marty Mack, Paterson's appointment secretary, demanding that Mack remove Kimble's name from the list of potential board appointees. Mack obliged, depriving Niagara County the opportunity to finally have a representative on the board.
As astounding as it may read, DelMonte actually put forth the name of Mort Abramowitz for consideration. If you aren't familiar with Abramowitz, that's okay. He was quite a player in county politics right around the time that the Treaty of Versailles was signed. Ol' Morty was denied.
But the bottom line is that there was no way in hell that DelMonte was going to allow Kimble, who along with the other coherent members of the county legislature understands the need to have a representative from Niagara on the board, to have the opportunity.
This is just another chapter in the very colorful history between DelMonte and Kimble. Unfortunately for you and I, it's just another instance of DelMonte using her powers for evil. Flame on, Wicked Witch. Flame on.