2002-01-12 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

By Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey


During the last week we have attended several installations. We were invited to join our new Mayor, Mike Bloomberg, our new Comptroller, William Thompson and our new Public Advocate, Betsy Gotbaum at their installation at City Hall. We wish them well as they begin to lead our city during these difficult times.  Each of them brings extensive experience to help them to improve our city. The installation was held outside in the cold but they provided everyone with hot cider and warm blankets.

I had the opportunity to speak with Mayor Bloomberg. He is very approachable and is interested in addressing issues. I complimented him for encouraging all New Yorkers and would be New Yorkers to "rebuild, renew and remain in the capital of the free world". I brought to his attention several issues from our neighborhood which require immediate attention: overcrowding in our schools, recruiting more certified teachers, changing the flight patterns in and out of our airports and increased economic development.

Borough President Helen Marshall held an indoor installation at the Queens Hall of Science. There truly was an air of vibrancy and an excitement as Helen, the first African American woman; to lead the Borough of Queens was sworn in by our new Mayor, Mike Bloomberg.  Bloomberg has a wonderful sense of humor and mentioned during his remarks at Helen's installation that he was "ready to discuss 50% budget cuts in the borough." This obviously was a lighthearted response to his unpopular remark about 20% budget cuts at his own installation. Mayor Bloomberg praised Helen Marshall for her outstanding record of service. Helen served for twenty years in the New York State Assembly and for ten years in the City Council. Governor Pataki also attended. Helen had glowing remarks for her predecessor and clearly looks forward to continuing "the Shulman legacy". Her areas of concern will include new hospitals; economic development and improvements in education including more seats for the boroughs chronically crowded schools.

Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. was sworn in as the next Council member in the 32nd District on Sunday, January 6th at the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge, the Pavilion, on the Southwest Side of the Bridge. The reception followed at the American Legion Hall on Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel. A few hundred people attended.

Joseph Addabbo is starting his term in office on a very good foot. He scheduled his installation outdoors on January 6th. The weather was very cooperative. It was a beautiful beginning for his new term. He had the ceremony there to highlight his interest in addressing the needs of all parts of his district. He was installed by the Honorable Justice Augustus Agate and was joined on the platform by his mother, Grace Addabbo and his wife Dawn. The 140-year-old bible was provided by Monsignor Thelan, the pastor of Nativity Church. Monsignor Thelan gave the initial blessing. In his speech Joe Addabbo highlighted the needs of each of our neighborhoods, which he will address.

The installation was attended by many dignitaries including Congressman Thomas Manton Chairperson of the Queens Democratic Organization, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Senator Malcolm Smith, Senator Ada Smith, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, City Councilman David Weprin, Assemblyman Mark Weprin, Betty Bratton Chairperson of Community Board 10 and the 106th Precinct Council, Sharon Gabriel President of the Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways and a member of the Rockaway Music and Arts Council, Dan Mundy President of the Broad Channel Civic Association, Brian Heffernan from the West End Realty, Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey,  member of the NYS Board of Regents, Eugene Pasternak member of Community Planning Board 14, Judge Ann Dufficy, Timothy Dufficy and Frank Galluscio, a fellow district leader who served as the Master of Ceremonies.  Many other civic and community leaders joined the festivities.

We are beginning a new era in our city government.  As Mayor Bloomberg stated in his inaugural address, "No city can match New York for its intellectual capital, financial know how and cultural vibrancy."

Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader met with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and discussed important neighborhood issues such as overcrowding in our schools, recruiting more certified teachers, changing the flight patterns in and out of our airports and increased economic development.

Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader Congratulates City Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo at his installation.  Also congratulating him are John Dolan, Regent Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey, Brian Heffernan, Tim Dufficy. Sharon Gabriel and Judge Add Dufficy.

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