By Journalist Ms. Jones
NEWBURGH – “Never would have made it! Never could have made it without you!” sang Mayor Torrance Harvey during Councilmember Robert McLymore’s Swearing In Ceremony at the City of Newburgh Recreation Center on Saturday, January 6th. “I sang that because the man of the hour wears many hats. The one that’s most important to me is the one that he wears on his pulpit on Sundays.”
McLymore can now add City Council Member to the list of jobs which he currently holds. That includes being the Senior Pastor of Life Restoration Church, a published author, and a Police Lieutenant in the Town of Wallkill.
“My son went to college, graduated… He came back home, and he stayed there. He had the opportunity to leave. But he chose to stay with me and support me in the ministry… For anyone to be a leader, they must be a servant first…For 20 years, 20 years plus he served, never complained, never was disgruntled. [He] may not have agreed with leadership decisions, but never challenged leadership decisions. It didn’t dawn on me until today why he wanted to actually do this work. Well, serving the community in a church is no different than being a council member or being an elected official. It is just an extension of the church,” said Pastor Michael McLymore who serves as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District.
The Newburgh Recreation Center was filled with well-wishers on Saturday to see Robert McLymore get sworn in as City of Newburgh Council Member by The Honorable Eddie Loren Williams NYS Supreme Court, 9th JD. His family, church congregation, local ministers, principals, community leaders, fellow police officers, sheriffs, and a myriad of former and current elected officials came out to support. It was actually one of those politicians who encouraged him to run for office.
“I recruited him. This was a year and a half ago, or so. It was in the summer. It was a big event at Downing Park,” said Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson. “I came up to you and I said,‘I want you to run… You’re ready. You have the experience, you understand the work, you have a base, and I think you should do it.’”
Councilmember Robert McLymore is replacing Former Councilmember Anthony Grice for his seat as Council Member at Large. Grice did not seek reelection. McLymore came in first place with 1,256 votes out of 4,088 total votes given for Council Member at Large in the November 7th Election. Current Councilmember Omari Shakur received 948 votes and will keep his current position as Council Member at Large. McLymore and Shakur beat Christine M. Bello, Donald E. Rehney Jr., and Anusha B. Mehar for the two open seats.
“This has been a journey, which I’m grateful for… I felt like my calling is to serve others and to fight for others,” said Councilmember Robert McLymore as he shares a story about how he stopped his cousin from being bullied as a kid and as a result has a permanent scar on his forehead. “I carry a mark in my forehead and every time I look in the mirror, I’m reminded of that day. It’s something that I can’t forget. That mark reminds me of the day that I fought for my cousin. Some would think that it’s a horrible memory. I believe that it’s a memory of a servant. I believe that it’s a scar of a fighter, the scar of a servant… I became a leader in that moment to stand against something that I didn’t agree with. And as I got older… I learned how to conquer various issues as a team, as a community, but always remembering I’m a servant… It is nothing more than an honor just to serve my community in whatever capacity that I’m in… I’m reminded of a conversation that me and my childhood friend, we used to have all the time… He would say, ‘I will be the mayor and you will be a councilman’… Back then we didn’t know what we were speaking. But we were speaking into our future and now I see that purpose is manifesting.”