1999-07-23 / Columnists

Simon Says….

by Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23 A.D. Part B

The death of John F. Kennedy jr. reminds many Americans of the tragic deaths of his father, President John F. Kennedy and his uncle, Senator Robert F. Kennedy. We extend our sympathy to the families of the victims.

The New York City Charter Revision Commission will be holding public meetings, hearings and forums. We are very much worried about the commission’s suggestion for non-partisan elections. For many years there have been primary and general elections for government officials including mayor, comptroller, city council president (now public advocate), borough presidents, district attorneys, and city council members. With many candidates running and no primaries a candidate from a small group could slip in.

Changing the land use rules could mean that local boards might lose whatever power they have to protect their communities from unwanted projects. There might be another effort to eliminate the Independent Budget Office which provides independent analysis of city spending.

New York City has always had a system of replacing a mayor who left office before completing his term. The person holding the office of city council president (now public advocate) and formerly president of the board of aldermen, succeeded to the mayor’s job if the vacancy occurred too late for the November election. We think the fight going on with the mayor and public advocate is all over what if Rudy Giuliani became United States Senator. Many people have asked me if there was a deal being cut between Rudy Giuliani and Comptroller Alan Hevesi. My response has been to speak to them.

The Charter Revision Commission has called a public hearing on August 5, 1999 at Queens Borough hall, 120-55 Queens boulevard, jury room, at 7 p.m. Sign-up for three minutes speaking time will be at 6:30 p.m. Speakers may discuss any aspect of the charter. We are in a democracy, not a dictatorship. If you do not voice your opinion and follow this issue you might be fooled in November.

This past week we spent four great nights at the Yeshiva of Belle Harbor bazaar. Stanley Liker, president of the Ohab Zedek-Belle Harbor Jewish Center, recognized me for 30 years of service. He remembered how I was a young teenager and how I grew into the individual I am. Dr. Jay Bienfeld, president of the yeshiva, was most appreciative for my participation and chutzpah in selling almost everything in the place. We believe that making a few dollars on each item is better than losing the sale. It is always great to see all my constituents at this annual sale.

Residents of the 500 block of Beach 129 street who lost power for more than two days during the heat wave told me that a LIPA repair person told Rabbi Lehrer that an additional transformer is needed to prevent overloading in the future.

We thank the mayor for starting an investigation and lawsuit of Con Ed’s reaction to the heat wave. We hope he will include LIPA. With its only New York City customers on the Rockaway peninsula, Rockaway is always forgotten. There is enough political power in Rockaway to make or break any candidate.

We would like to remind you that Wendy’s, 113-20 Beach Channel drive, will be doing proceeds nights. They are looking for any non-profit organizations with 501(C) 3 status to call Evelyn Powell, manager, to discuss getting an evening for four consecutive hours and getting 30 percent of the proceeds. This is a great program that can help your religious, fraternal, youth, volunteer fire and ambulance corps or senior organization. Pick up the phone now. Nights are going fast.

We would like to recognize a great community employer, Metro Force Security, which is located at 1920 Mott avenue. Irving Matos, the owner, provides many jobs for Rockaway residents. He is always looking for trained and licensed security personnel. He encourages community youth by holding outreach seminars on law enforcement and legal issues. We want to thank him for remembering to hire Rockaway residents. We urge all businesses to do the same. If anyone has a job available, contact us and we will find the right person for the job.

Our headquarters is available as a meeting room for community organizations. If you want to hold a meeting, call and we will put you on the calendar.

Membership in the Democratic club is one way of participating in local and city government. Send your dues, $25 family, $18 single, $12 senior and young Dem, to Good Government Regular Democratic Club, 112-20 Beach Channel drive, Rockaway Park 11694. We are at the club on Thursday evenings. You can call us to find out when we will have special guest speakers. We will be going to Atlantic City on August 21 at 5:30 p.m. Call for reservations. I am listed in the Rockaway phone book.

If you have any questions or comments about this column or need help with a community problem call my office and I will get back to you.


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