2000-03-04 / Columnists

Simon Says….

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

Last Thursday the Queens County Democratic organization had the party call vote for Democratic designee for the 10 Senatorial District. Thomas J. Manton, chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee of Queens County, called the meeting to select a candidate to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of the Honorable Alton R. Waldon, jr. The roll call was taken by Democratic County secretary Michael Reich.

The first nomination was the name of Malcolm Smith, put on the floor by City Council Deputy Majority Leader Archie Spigner and seconded by myself and an added second by Councilman Tom White. Former assemblywoman and current district leader Cynthia Jenkins put her own name in. District Leader Allan Jennings seconded the nomination. Then Jennings rose to nominate convicted felon, former state senator Andrew Jenkins, who was convicted of money laundering. Jennings then had the chutzpah to urge at least one of the leaders to nominate Andrew Jenkins. A motion was made to close nominations, which I seconded.

All the leaders then voted for Malcolm Smith with the exception of Cynthia Jenkins, who voted for herself, and Henry McCoy, who abstained. Malcolm is our guy. Congrats to the Democratic nominee.

The Liberal Party has designated Andrew Jenkins, while Cynthia Jenkins is the Community First designee. The election will be held on Tuesday, March 28.

We are urging all Democrats to come out and vote for Vice President Al Gore for President. Gore's strong record on environment, health care, Social Security and his electability make the difference.

On Friday afternoon, we attended the meeting of Congressman Weiner's committee for the Riis Park pool, on which we serve. Kevin Callaghan, the catalyst who worked diligently to bring the idea off a pool to our peninsula, was with us.

In 1997 there was a proposal for a three year $27 million rehabilitation initiative to build a 55,000 square foot pool, a 15,700 square foot restaurant, new concessions and other improvements. Now, $13 million has been taken out of the budget. Removed from the proposal is a diving pool, hydraulic floor for raising the level of the pool, and a bulkhead for adjusting the size of the pool. Kevin said that without a one or three meter diving board, we will not meet the qualifications for high school competitive or Olympic training. Plans for this pool are due in about six weeks. There will be a fee to use this pool.

In Year I (FY 2001) they would construct the swimming pool and the minimum outdoor amenities needed to make the pool operational. Year II would include enclosing the pool for year round use and complete rehabilitation of the entry pavilion and develop indoor changing facilities.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday, March 11. The cost will be $25 with $20 returned. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return 8 a.m. Call my office now for reservations.

State Senate candidate Malcolm Smith will be our guest speaker on Thursday, March 9. The Good Government Regular Democratic Club meets at 7:30 p.m. at 112-20 Beach Channel drive (upstairs). We welcome everyone.

On Saturday evening, the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department held their 95th installation. We extend sincere congratulations to the newly elected chief, Tim Keenan, probably the youngest chief in any volunteer fire department. Timmy will make a fine chief and future M.D. We also congratulate his deputy, Craig Miltie Boyle. This team will make the new firehouse a reality.

We were proud to announce the approval of a third NYC surplus apparatus. This fire truck will be purchased by me to make sure no lives in Broad Channel will ever be lost because of lack of equipment. I received a plaque in recognition of my "untiring efforts to ensure the protection of the lives and property of the residents of Broad Channel."

On Sunday evening Senator Schumer and Congressman Weiner held a meeting with a large group of local leaders. We discussed improving transportation, Rockaway's economic development, beach replenishment and other issues of local concern. Schumer opposes spending federal dollars for an unnecessary new rail station in Jamaica, will work to break the barriers to getting the funds for infrastructure needed for development, and favors using federal funds for jetties to stabilize our beaches. It was a great meeting and we are proud of our senator and congressman.


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